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II. The prophecy of Obadiah consists of two parts ; viz. been impugned by some writers both on the Continent and Part I. is minatory, and denounces the destruction of Edom for in our own country. their Pride and carnal Security (1–9.), and for their cruel

i. On the Continent it has been denied that the last nine Insults and Ennity to the Jews, after the Capture of their chapters are to be attributed to Ezekiel ; but the arguments City. (10-16.)

adduced in behalf of this hypothesis are by no means suffi

cient to sustain it: for This prediction, according to Archbishop Usher, was fulfilled, about five years after the destruction of Jerusalem, by the not at variance with the opinion that they were written by

1. The alleged obscurity of these chapters is "certainly Babylonians subduing and expelling them from Arabia Petræa, Ezekiel, for many other parts of his work are less perspicu

of which they never afterwards recovered possession. Part II. is consolatory, and foretells the Restoration of the of buildings, can scarcely be made very intelligible without

ous, not to say, that descriptions of this kind, particularly Jews (17.), their Victory over their Enemies, and their flou- the aid of drawings. rishing Siate in consequence. (18—21.)

2. “These chapters are supposed to contain commands Archbishop Newcome considers this prophecy as fulfilled by the which were disregarded by the Hebrews after their return,

conquest of the Maccabees over the Edomites. (See 1 Macc. v. and, therefore, it is inferred that they did not then exist, or 3—5. 65, &c.) There is no doubt that it was in part accom- at least were not ascribed to Ezekiel. But this supposition plished by the return from the Babylonian captivity; and by is unfounded; for those chapters do not contain commands, the victories of the Maccabæan princes; but the prediction in but an emblematic or figurative representation intended to the last verse will not receive its complete fulfilment until that confirm the certainty of the return, and the re-establishment time when “the kingdoms of the world are become the king

of divine worship. doms of our Lord and of his Christ. (Rev. xi. 15.)

3. “It is further objected, that the prophet could not possibly retain in memory the numbers of so many measure

ments as were perceived by him in his vision. But this is $ 6. ON THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET EZEKIEL.

of little weight; for as the impressions of the visions were

the more vehement on account of the outward senses being I. Author and date.—II. Canonical authority of the prophecies at rest, there would be the less difficulty in retaining them

of Ezekiel. — III. Their scope. — IV. Analysis of them.- in the memory. Besides, there are persons who commit V. Observations on the style of Ezekiel.

numbers to memory with great facility, and if the objectors BEFORE CHRIST, 595–536.

to these prophecies allow that visions constitute merely the

dress and form in which the prophets announce their predic1. Ezekiel, whose name imports the strength of God, was tions, there would have been no need of memory in the case. the son of Buzi, of the sacerdotal race, and one of the captives 4. “ Josephus: attributes to Ezekiel two books concerncarried by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon, with Jehoiachin king ing the Babylonish captivity : but as by the second book of of Judah; it does not appear that he had prophesied before Ezekiel he means the last nine chapters, how is it possible he came into Mesopotamia. The principal scene of his pre- thence to infer that Ezekiel is not their author ? There is no dictions was some place on the river Chebar, which flows necessity, therefore, to apply the language to Jeremiah (as into the Euphrates about two hundred miles to the north of Eichhorn did), which cannot be done without violence to the Babylon, where the prophet resided; though he was, occa- series of the discourse.” sionally, conveyed in vision to Jerusalem. He commenced Altogether worthless is the conjecture “ that some Hehis prophetic ministry in the thirtieth year of his age, accord-brew, who returned later than the great body of his brethren, ing to general accounts; or rather, as Calmet thinks, in the made up these chapters, in order to effect a new distribution thirtieth year after the covenant was renewed with God in of the country, by which he might acquire a portion for himthe reign of Josiah, which answers to the fifth year of Eze-self: for no such impostor would have written so largely kiel's and Jehoiachin's captivity (Ezek. i. 1. xl. 1.), the æra and in such a manner of the temple and of the division of the whence he dates his predictions, and it appears from xxix. country among the tribes, and at the same time forget en17. that he continued to prophesy about twenty-one years tirely the distribution among individuals. and three quarters. The events of his life, after his call to Nothing, therefore, can be established in opposition to the prophetic office, are interwoven with the detail which he the genuineness of these prophecies; and it is confirmed by has himself given of his predictions; but the manner of its their contents. The visions, the manner of conveying reproof, termination is nowhere ascertained. The pseudo-Epiphanius, the multitude of circumstantial particulars, the character of the in his lives of the prophets, says that he was put to death by language and style, in all which respects Ezekiel is remarkthe prince or commander of the Jews in the place of his exile, ably distinguished from other writers, prove that he must because this prince was addicted to idolatry, and could not have been the author of these chapters. "No imitation could bear the reproaches of the prophet. No reliance, however, possibly have been so successful."4 can be placed on this account, which is intermixed with ii. In England, an anonymous writers has denied that many fables. Jerome is of opinion, that, as Ezekiel was in “the prophecies in chapters xxv.—xxxii. xxxv. xxxvi. part contemporary with Jeremiah, who prophesied in Judæa xxxviii. and xxxix. are Ezekiel's. His reasons are so exwhile Ezekiel delivered his predictions beyond the Euphrates, ceedingły trifling, that they are not worthy of refutation. their prophecies were interchanged for the consolation and Nor indeed is this necessary, for these very parts of the encouragement of the captive Jews. There is, indeed, a book contain evidence that they are the work of this prophet; striking agreement between the subject-matter and their re- very many particulars which Ezekiel is accustomed to inspective prophecies; but Ezekiel is more vehement than troduce elsewhere are found in these prophecies; as, for Jeremiah' in reproving the sins of his countrymen, and instance, the designation of the year, the month and the day, on abounds more in visions, which render some passages of his which a revelation was communicated; the remarkable book exceedingly difficult to be understood. On this account phraseology, son of man corresponding with the usage in the no Jew was, anciently, permitted to read the writings of this Aramæan dialect; the forms, set thy face towards or againstprophet, until he had completed his thirtieth year."

prophesy, againsthear the word of Jehovahthus saith the II. Until of late years the prophecies of Ezekiel have Lord Jehovahthe word of Jehovah came to methey shall always been acknowledged to be canonical, nor was it ever know that I am Jehovah-take up a lamentation for. In these disputed that he was their author. The Jews, indeed, say chapters, as in ch. i.- xxiv., the terms 7:1 and so are frethat the sanhedrin deliberated for a long time whether his quently applied to kings, the same devices for conducting book should form a part of the sacred canon. They objected sieges pun, a circumvallation, and isso, a mound, are mento the great obscurity at the beginning and end of his pro- tioned, compare ch. xxvi. 8. with iv. 2. xvii. 17. xxi. 27. phecy; and to what he says in ch. xviii. 20. that the son (22.), and, in fine, the same particularity and multitude of should not bear the iniquity of his father, which they urged circumstances occur. Indeed xxviii. 14. contains a referwas contrary to Moses, who says (Exod. xx. 5.), that God ence to the vision mentioned in i. 13. x. 2. If the mention visits the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the ing the regions of the departed more frequently than is usual third and fourth generation.But it is worthy of remark, (see xxvi. 20. xxxi. 14—17. xxxii. 18—32.) would seem to that Moses himself (Deut. xxiv. 16.) says the very same indicate a foreign origin, it must be considered that the subthing as Ezekiel.2

ject required it, and it can never be alleged with any weight The genuineness of certain chapters of this prophet has

3 Antiq. Jud. lib. x. c. 5. $ 1. 1 Hieronymi Procem. in lib. i. Comm. in Ezech

• Prof.

Turner's Translation of Jahn, p. 403. * Calmet, Preface sur Ezekiel. Comment. Litt. tom. vj. pp. 353, 354.

• Monthly Magazine, March, 1798, p. 189.

66

as a proof that these portions of Ezekiel's prophecies differ Sect. 2. Under the type of shaving his head and beard, and in character from the remainder.".

weighing his hair, one-third part of which was to be burnt, Josephus ascribes to this prophet two books concerning another to be cut small with a knife, and the remainder to the Babylonian captivity ;2 and' says, that, having foretold be burnt (v. 1–4.), are, in vision, denounced the divine in Babylon the calamities which were coming upon the judgments against Jerusalem, by famine, sword, and disperpeople, he sent accounts of them io Jerusalem. 3But these

sion. (5—17.) The head here represents Jerusalem; the circumstances are not recorded in the predictions now extant; hair, the great number of its inhabitants; and the balances, nor have we any means of ascertaining what foundation the exactness of God's judgments. Josephus had for his assertion. Most commentators are of

Sect. 3. denounces the divine judgments against the Jews for opinion that the Jewish historian divided the prophecy we

their idolatry (vi. 1—7.), but promises that a remnant shall now have into two books, and that he took that part of the

be saved, and shall be brought to a sense of their sins by prophecy, which contains a description of the temple (xli.- their afflictions. (8—14.) xlviii.) for a distinct book, because it treats on a subject

Sect. 4. announces the irreversible judgment of captivity, and wholly different from the topics discussed in the former part

final desolation of the Jews for their idolatry and other of his writings. III. The chief design of Ezekiel's prophecies is, to com

heinous sins (vii. 1—22.): the severity of their captivity, fort his brethren in captivity, who deplored their having too

which is prefigured by a chain. (23—27.) lightly credited the promises of Jeremiah, who had exhorted

Sect. 5. describes the carrying of the prophet, in a vision, to them speedily to submit to the Chaldees, on account of the

Jerusalem (viii. 144.), where he is shown the idolatries

committed by the Jews within the precincts of the temple ; approaching ruin of Jerusalem. As these captives saw no appearance of the fulfilment of Jeremiah's predictions, God

particularly the image of Baal, by a bold figure called the raised up-Ezekiel to confirm them in the faith, and to sup

image of Jealousy, from the provocation it gave to God, by port by new prophecies those which Jeremiah had long

setting up a rival against him in the place dedicated to his before published, and even then continued to announce in worship (5.) : the Egyptian (6–12.), the Phenician (13, Judæa. In pursuance of this design, Ezekiel predicts the

14.), and the Persian superstitions. (15, 16.)6 The prodreadful calamities which soon after were inflicted upon

phet then denounces vengeance against the wicked, and Judæa and Jerusalem, on account of the idolatry, impiety, foretells the preservation of the pious Jews (17, 18. ix.); and profligacy of their inhabitants; the divine judgments

and under the command to scatter coals of fire over the that would be executed on the false prophets and prophet

city (x. 1—7.), and the vision of the Shechinah departing esses, who deluded and hardened the Jews in their rebellion from the temple (8—22.), are prefigured the destruction of against God; the punishments that awaited the Ammonites,

Jerusalem, and Jehovah's forsaking the temple. This secEdomites, and Philistines, for their hatred of the Jews, and tion concludes with a severe denunciation against those insulting them in their distress; the destruction of Tyre; wicked princes and people who remained in Jerusalem, and the conquest of Egypt; the future restoration of Israel and derided the types and predictions of the prophets (xi. 1Judah from their several dispersions; and their ultimately 13.) ; and the return of the Jews is then foretold (14–. happy state after the advent and under the government of 21.); Jehovah's utterly forsaking the temple and city is the Messiah.

represented by the departure of the Shechinah (22, 23.); IV. The prophecies of Ezekiel form, in our Bibles, forty- and the prophet returns to communicate his instructions to eight chapters; and, as he is extremely punctual in dating his brethren of the captivity. (24, 25.) them, we have little or no difficulty in arranging them in Sect. 6. Under the types of Ezekiel's removing himself and chronological order. They may be divided into four parts; his household goods (xii. 1—7.), and eating and drinking viz.

“with quaking, and with carefulness" (17—20.), is prePart I. Ezekiel's Call to the Prophetic Office (i. 1. to the first figured the captivity of Zedekiah and of the Jews still re

part of verse 28.), his Commission, Instructions, and En. maining at Jerusalem (8—16.); and speedy judgment is couragements for executing it. (i. 28. latter clause, ii. iii.

denounced against the Jews for their abuse of the divine 1-21.)

forbearance. (21-28.) PART II. Denunciations against the Jewish People. (iii. 22–

Sect. 7. The false prophets (xii, 1–16.), and false prophet27. iv.-xxiv.)

esses (17—23.), are reproved and threatened with signa) Sect. 1. Under the emblem of a siege delineated upon a tile punishment.

is represented the manner in which the Chaldæan army Sect. 8. A denunciation of the divine judgments against the would surround Jerusalem during the reign of Zedekiah. idolatrous elders and their false prophets (xiv. 1-11.), and (iii. 22-27. iv. 1-3.) The inhabitants there encouraged against the Jews for their obstinate impenitency (12—21.); the captives in Chaldæa to hope for a return; and such a a remnant of whom, it is promised, shall be saved. (22, hope they actually cherished, so long as Jerusalem was safe :

23.) but this vision was designed to overthrow their confidence. Secr. 9. Under the parable of an unfruitful and unprofitable From the specimens preserved in cabinets, it is well known vine is set forth the utter rejection of Jerusalem. (xv.) that the tiles or bricks, anciently used in oriental buildings, Sect. 10. Under the emblem of an exposed and wretched were of considerable size, with one of the surfaces well po- infant is represented the natural state of the Jewish nation, lished, so as to be capable of receiving the representation and the great love of God to it in Egypt, as well as afterdescribed by the prophet. By Ezekiel's lying upon his wards. (xvi, 1–14.) The heinous and unparalleled sins right and left side a certain number of (prophetic) days, is of the Jews are set forth; for which sore judgments are exhibited the number of years, during which God had borne denounced against them. But, notwithstanding all these with the iniquities of the house of Israel. (4—8.) The provocations, God promises in the end to show them mercy scanty supply and intermixture of coarse food represented under his new and everlasting covenant. (60–63.) The the scarcity and hard fare which the Jews should have dur- figurative mode of describing adultery, which is of frequent ing the continuance of the siege by Nebuchadnezzar.

occurrence in the prophets, is pursued with great force, and

at considerable length, both in this and the 23d chapter. Prof. Turner's Translation of Jahn, p. 404.

Secr. 11. Under the allegory of two eagles and a vine is 2 Antiq. Jud. lib. x. c.5. $ 1. Ibid. lib. x. c. 7. & 2.

represented God's judgment upon the Jews, for revolting The arrangement proposed by Prof. De Wette coincides very nearly from Babylon to Egypt. (xvii, 1–21.) The “great eagle with that given in this work. He divides the predictions of Ezekiel into four parts, viz. I. From chap. i. to chap. xxiv, containing prophecies relat

with great wings” (3.) means Nebuchadnezzar, as the ing to the Jews and anterior to the destruction of Jerusalem, in chronolo- “ feathers of divers colours” mean the various nations that gical order; II. From chap. xxv. to chap. xxxii. containing prophecies relating to various heathen nations, disposed according to the order of 6 Bishop Warburton has an excellent illustration of this prediction in his subjects ; III. From chap. xxxiii. to xlviii. containing prophecies posterior Divine Legation of Moses, book iv. sect. 6. (Works, vol. iv. pp. 295–300.); to the destruction of Jerusalem, in chronological order.

the most material parts of which are inserted in Bishop Mant's and Dr. * The prophetical types and figures are often adapted to the genius and D'Oyly's Commentary on the Bible. education of the prophets. Amos, for instance, derives his figures from Josephus inforins us that Zedekiah, thinking the prophecy of Ezekiel objects which were familiar to a shepherd or a husbandman. As Eze in the thirteenth verse of this chapter (íhat he should be brought to Baby. kiel seems to have had a peculiar talent for architecture, several of his lon, which, however, he should not see, though he should die there), inrepresentations are suitable to that profession. "And they that suppose consistent with the prediction of Jeremiah (xxxii. 4. and xxxiv. 3.) that the the emblem here made use of to be below the dignity of the prophetic Jewish king should see the eyes of the king of Babylon,-determined to office, may as well accuse Archimedes of folly for making lines in the give no credit to either of them. Both prophecies, as we have already

W. Lowth on Ezek. i.; from whose summaries of chapters and scen (Vol. I. p. 124.) were literally fulfilled, and the event convincer the marginal abstracts of Mr. Reeves this analysis of Ezekiel is chiefly him that they were not irreconcilable. Compare Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib derived, in the present as well as in former editions of this work. x. c. 8. $ 2. with 2 Kings xxv. 4–7. and Jer. lii. 8-11.

dust."

were subject to his sway. The other “great eagle” (7.) Apries) king of Egypt (xxix. 1–8.), and the conquest of means the king of Egypt. The preaching of the Gospel, that country by Nebuchadnezzar (9—21. xxx.-xxxii.), are and the universal kingdom of the Messiah, are foretold. foretold. The imagery of the latter part of this prophecy (22—24.)

is both sublime and terrible. These predictions were in tho

[graphic]
[graphic]

II. The prophecy of Obadiah consists of two parts ; viz. been impugned by some writers both on the Continent and Part I. is minatory, and denounces the destruction of Edom for in our own country. their Pride and carnal Security (1–9.), and for their cruel

i. On the Continent it has been denied that the last nine Insults and Ennity to the Jews, after the Capture of their chapters are to be attributed to Ezekiel; but the arguments City. (10-16.)

adduced in behalf of this hypothesis are by no means suffiThis prediction, according to Archbishop Usher, was fulfilled,

cient to sustain it: for about five years after the destruction of Jerusalem, by the not at variance with the opinion that they were written by

1. The alleged obscurity of these chapters is “certainly Babylonians subduing and expelling them from Arabia Petræa, Ezekiel, for many other parts of his work are less perspicuof which they never afterwards recovered possession.

ous, not to say, that descriptions of this kind, particularly Part II. is consolatory, and foretells the Restoration of the of buildings, can scarcely be made very intelligible without

Jews (17.), their Victory over their Enemies, and their flou- the aid of drawings. rishing State in consequence. (18—21.)

2. “ These chapters are supposed to contain commands Archbishop Newcome considers this prophecy as fulfilled by the which were disregarded by the Hebrews after their return,

conquest of the Maccabees over the Edomites. (See 1 Macc. v. and, therefore, it is inferred that they did not then exist, or 3–5.65, &c.) There is no doubt that it was in part accom- at least were not ascribed to Ezekiel. But this supposition plished by the return from the Babylonian captivity; and by is unfounded; for those chapters do not contain commands, the victories of the Maccabæan princes ; but the prediction in but an emblematic or figurative representation intended to the last verse will not receive its complete fulfilment until that confirm the certainty of the return, and the re-establishment time when “the kingdoms of the world are become the king

of divine worship. doms of our Lord and of his Christ. (Rev. xi. 15.)

3. “It is further objected, that the prophet could not possibly retain in memory the numbers of so many measure

ments as were perceived by him in his vision. But this is 6. ON THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET EZEKIEL.

of little weight; for as the impressions of the visions were

the more vehement on account of the outward senses being 1. Author and date.—II. Canonical authority of the prophecies at rest, there would be the less difficulty in retaining them

of Ezekiel. — III. Their scope. - IV. Analysis of them.- in the memory. Besides, there are persons who commit V. Observations on the style of Ezekiel.

numbers to memory with great facility, and if the objectors BEFORE CHRIST, 595–536.

to these prophecies allow that visions constitute merely the

dress and form in which the prophets announce their predic1. Ezekiel, whose name imports the strength of God, was tions, there would have been no need of memory in the case. the son of Buzi, of the sacerdotal race, and one of the captives 4. “ Josephus: attributes to Ezekiel two bocks concerncarried by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon, with Jehoiachin king ing the Babylonish captivity: but as by the second book of of Judah; it does not appear that he had prophesied before Ezekiel he means the last nine chapters, how is it possible he came into Mesopotamia. The principal scene of his pre- thence to infer that Ezekiel is not their author ? There is no dictions was some place on the river Chebar, which flows necessity, therefore, to apply the language to Jeremiah (as into the Euphrates about two hundred miles to the north of Eichhorn did), which cannot be done without violence to the Babylon, where the prophet resided; though he was, occa- series of the discourse.”. sionally, conveyed in vision to Jerusalem. He commenced Altogether worthless is the conjecture “that some Hehis prophetic ministry in the thirtieth year of his age, accord-brew, who returned later than the great body of his brethren, ing to general accounts; or rather, as Calmet thinks, in the made up these chapters, in order to effect a new distribution thirtieth year after the covenant was renewed with God in of the country, by which he might acquire a portion for himthe reign of Josiah, which answers to the fifth year of Eze- self: for no such impostor would have written so largely kiel's and Jehoiachin's captivity (Ezek. i. 1. xl. 1.), the æra and in such a mammer of the temple and of the division of the whence he dates his predictions, and it appears from xxix. country among the tribes, and at the same time forget en17. that he continued to prophesy about twenty-one years tirely the distribution among individuals. and three quarters. The events of his life, after his call to “ Nothing, therefore, can be established in opposition to the prophetic office, are interwoven with the detail which he the genuineness of these prophecies; and it is confirmed by has himself given of his predictions; but the manner of its their contents. The visions, the manner of conveying reproof, termination is nowhere ascertained. The pseudo-Epiphanius, the multitude of circumstantial particulars, the character of the in his lives of the prophets, says that he was put to death by language and style, in all which respects Ezekiel is remarkthe prince or commander of the Jews in the place of his exile, ably distinguished from other writers, prove that he must because this prince was addicted to idolatry, and could not have been the author of these chapters. "No imitation could bear the reproaches of the prophet. No reliance, however, possibly have been so successful."4 can be placed on this account, which is intermixed with ii. In England, an anonymous writers has denied that many fables. Jerome is of opinion, that, as Ezekiel was in “ the prophecies in chapters xxv.—xxxii. xxxv. xxxvi. part contemporary with Jeremiah, who prophesied in Judæa xxxviii. and xxxix. are Ezekiel's. His reasons are so exwhile Ezekiel delivered his

predictions beyond the Euphrates, ceedingly trifling, that they are not worthy of refutation. their prophecies were interchanged for the consolation and Nor indeed is this necessary, for these very parts of the encouragement of the captive Jews. There is, indeed, a book contain evidence that they are the work of this prophet; striking agreement between the subject-matter and their re- very many particulars which Ezekiel is accustomed to inspective prophecies; but Ezekiel is more vehement than troduce elsewhere are found in these prophecies; as, for Jeremiah" in reproving the sins of his countrymen, and instance, the designation of the year, the month and the day, on abounds more in visions, which render some passages of his which a revelation was communicated; the remarkable book exceedingly difficult to be understood. On this account phraseology, son of man corresponding with the usage in the no Jew was, anciently, permitted to read the writings of this Aramæan dialect; the forms, set thy face towards or againstprophet, until he had completed his thirtieth year.'

prophesy against-hear the word of Jehovahthus saith the II. Until of late years the prophecies of Ezekiel have Lord Jehovahthe word of Jehovah came to me-they shall always been acknowledged to be canonical, nor was it ever know that I am Jehovah-take up a lamentation for. In these disputed that he was their author. The Jews, indeed, say chapters, as in ch. i.- xxiv., the terms 7.2 and now are fre that the sanhedrin deliberated for a long time whether his quently applied to kings, the same devices for conducting book should form a part of the sacred canon. They objected sieges pem, a circumvallation, and abso, a mound, are mento the great obscurity at the beginning and end of his pro- tioned, compare ch. xxvi. 8. with iv. 2. xvii. 17. xxi. 27. phecy; and to what he says in ch. xviii. 20. that the son (22.), and, in fine, the same particularity and multitude of should not bear the iniquity of his father, which they urged circumstances occur. Indeed xxviii. 14. contains a referwas contrary to Moses, who says (Exod. xx. 5.), that God ence to the vision mentioned in i. 13. X. 2. If the mention visits the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the ing the regions of the departed more frequently than is usual third and fourth generation.” But it is worthy of remark, (see xxvi. 20. xxxi. 14–17. xxxii. 18—32.) would seem to that Moses himself (Deut. xxiv. 16.) says the very same indicate a foreign origin, it must be considered that the subthing as Ezekiel.2

ject required it, and it can never be alleged with any weight The genuineness of certain chapters of this prophet has

3 Antiq.

Jud. lib. x. c. 5. $ 1. 1 Hieronymi Procem. in lib. i. Comm. in Ezech

• Prof.

Turner's Translation of Jahn, p. 403. Calmet, Préface sur Ezekiel. Coinment. Litt. tom. vi. pp. 353, 354.

• Monthly Magazine, March, 1798, p. 189.

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