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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 to Jerusalem. 3° But 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 wholly different from the topics discussed in the former part
Sect. 4. announces the irreversible judgment of captivity, and of his writings.
final desolation of the Jews for their idolatry and other 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
. 1-4.), 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. lJudah 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 repart 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 (xiii. 1—16.), and false prophet27. iv.-xxiv.)
esses (17—23.), are reproved and threatened with signal 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. Sect. 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 230 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 informs us that Zedekiah, thinking the prophecy of Ezekiel objects which were familiar to a shepherd or a husbandnian. As Eze in the thirteenth verse of this chapter that 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 inaking lines in the give no credit to either of them. Both prophecies, as we have already dust." W. Lowth on Ezek. i.; from whose summaries of chapters and seen (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.
. c. 8. $ 2. with 2 Kings xxv. 4—7. and Jer. lii. 8–11.
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 Sect. 12. The Jews, in Ezekiel's time, having complained tenth, twenty-seventh, eleventh, and twelfth years of Jehoi
(xviii. 1, 2.) of the divine justice, as if the calamities which achin's captivity. had befallen them were inflicted merely for the sins of their PART IV. contains a Series of Exhortations and consolatory forefathers, this section contains a vindication of God's
Promises to the Jews, of future Deliverance under Cyrus, but eternal rules of justice in punishing no one eternally for principally of their final Restoration and Conversion under the sins of another, and in pardoning the wicked on their the Kingdom of Messiah. (xxxiii.xlviii.). These Predictrue repentance. (3–32.)
tions were probably delivered in the twelfth year of JehoiaSect. 13. Under the parable of a lion's whelps are foretold chin's Captivity. the cruelty and captivity of Jehoahaz, who was deposed by
Sect. 1. sets forth the duty of a prophet or minister of God, the king of Egypt, and of Jehoiakim, who was deposed
exemplified by that of a watchman, in warning a people of by the king of Babylon. (xix. 1—9.) And under the parable of a vine scorched by the east wind, torn up and
their sins. (xxxiii. 1—9.) Then follows an earnest exhor
tation to repentance, vindicating the equity of the divine transplanted in the wilderness, are set forth the desolation
government, and declaring the terms of acceptance (as in and captivity of the whole Jewish people. (10—14.)
ch. xviii.) to be without respect of persons; so that the ruin Secr. 14. A deputation of the elders having come to the pro
of obstinate and impenitent sinners must be attributed to phet, in the seventh year of Jehoiakim's and his own cap
themselves. (xxxiii. 10—20.) While Ezekiel was thus tivity, to request him to ask counsel of God in the midst
under the prophetic impulse, tidings being brought to him of their calamity, Ezekiel, by divine command, reminds
of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians (21, them of God's mercies to them, and of their idolatry, and rebellions against him, from their departure out of Egypt to
22.), he takes occasion to predict the utter desolation of
Judæa, to check the vain confidence of those who still rethat very day. (xx. 1-39.) Yet, notwithstanding all their provocations, their return from captivity
main there, and he also reproves the hypocrisy of those foretold,
Jews who were of the captivity. (23–33.) and also that the twelve tribes shall serve God at Jerusalem.
Sect. 2. In this section God reproves the conduct of the civil Sect. 15. Under the emblem of a forest, doomed to be con
and ecclesiastical governors of the Jewish people (xxxiv. 1
-10.), and promises a general restoration of the people. sumed by fire, is foretold the destruction of Jerusalem,
Their' happy condition under the reign of Messiah their termed the “ forest of the south," because that city lay to the south of Chaldæa, where the prophet then was. (xx.
king is described in the most beautiful terms. (11–31.)
Sect. 3. contains a renewal of the prophet's former denuncia45–49.) And under the emblem of a sharp sword is pre
tions against the Edomites (see xxv. 12.) as a just punishdicted the destruction of the Jews (xxi, 1–17.), of Jeru
ment for their insults to the Jews during their calamities. salem (18—27.), and of the Ammonites (28—32.), by Nebu
(xxxv.)s chadnezzar. The prophecy against the Ammonites was accomplished about five years after Jerusalem was destroyed.
Sect. 4. announces the general restoration of the Jews, of
which the return of the two tribes from Babylon may be Sect. 16. contains a recital of the sins committed in Jerusa
considered an earnest, and their consequent felicity. (xxxvi.) lem, and by all orders and classes of people in that city;
The same subject is further illustrated under the vision of for which the severest judgments are denounced. (xxii.)
a resurrection of dry bones. (xxxvii, 1–14.) The address Secr. 17. represents the idolatries of Samaria and Jerusalem
to the dry bones in ver. 4. is by some commentators conby the lewd practices of two common harlots (xxiii. 1—21.); for which crimes God denounces very severe judgments
sidered as a prophetical representation of that voice of the
Son of God, which all that are in their graves shall hear at against them both. (22—49.)
the last day, and come forth. Under the emblem of the Sect. 18. Under the figure of a boiling pot is shown the
union of two sticks is foretold the incorporation of Israel destruction of Jerusalem and its inhabitants (xxiv. 1-14.);
and Judah into one state and church, which will enjoy the and, by the prophet's being forbidden to mourn for his
land of Canaan and the blessings of the Gospel under the wife, it is signified that the calamities of the Jews shall be
Messiah. (15—28.) so astonishing as to surpass all expressions of sorrow.
Sect. 5. contains a remarkable prophecy against Gog and all (15—27.)
his allies, and the victory of Israel over them (xxxviii. xxxix. PART III. comprises Ezekiel's Prophecies against various neigh- 1—22.), together with a promise of deliverance from capbouring Nations, Enemies to the Jews. (xxv.-xxxii.)
tivity, and of the final restoration and conversion of the Sect. 1. denotes the judgments of God against the Ammon- Jews to the Gospel, under the Messiah. (23—29.) This
ites (xxv. 1—7.), Moabites (8-11. , Edomites (12—14.), prophecy relates to the latter ages of the world, and will be and Philistines (15–17.), on account of their hatred of best understood by its accomplishment. his people, and insulting them in the time of their distress. Sect. 6. contains a representation, partly literal and partly According to Archbishop Usher and Josephus, these pre- mystical, of Solomon's temple; also a mystical representadictions were fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar about five years tion of the city of Jerusalem, and mystical directions conafter the destruction of Jerusalem.3
cerning the division of the Holy Land ;-all which were Sect. 2. announces, in language singularly elegant and ani- designed to give the Jews a greater assurance of their re
mated, the destruction of Tyre (xxvi. xxvii. xxviii. 1- turning into their own country from the Babylonish capti19.), whose vast trade, riches, splendour, and power are vity; and, more remotely, of their return after their general largely described. This prediction' was accomplished, nine- conversion to Christianity, and of the lasting and firmly teen years after its delivery, by Nebuchadnezzar, who cap- settled and prosperous state they shall then enjoy in their tured Tyre after besieging it for thirteen years, and utterly own country. It seems that no model of Solomon's temple destroyed that city. The destruction of Židon, the mother had remained. To direct the Jews, therefore, in the dimencity of Tyre (in whose prosperity and adversity she gene- sions, parts, order, and regulations of the new temple, on rally participated), is then declared (20–23.); and this their return from the Babylonish captivity, is one reason section of prophecy concludes with promises of the happy why Ezekiel is so particular in his description of the old state of the Jews on their deliverance from all their ene- temple; to which the new was conformable in figure and mies, together with their general conversion to Christianity. parts, though inferior in magnificence on account of the (24–26.)
poverty of the nation at that time. Whatever was august Sect. 3. The deposition and death of Pharaoh-Hophrah (or or illustrious in the prophetic figures, and not literally ful
filled in or near their own time, the ancient Jews justly 1 See 2 Kings xxii. 33. and 2 Chron. xxxvi. 4. Se 2 Kings xxiv, and 2 Chron. xxxvi. 6.
considered as belonging to the times of the Messiah.. Ac* Urserii Annales, ad A. M. 3419. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. x. c. 11. $ 1.
• Though these predictions chiefly relate to Old Tyre, yet Dr. Prideaux s This prophecy was accomplished in the conquest of the Edomites, first is of opinion that they also comprehend New Tyre, which was erected on by the Nabatheans, and secondly by John Hyrcanus, who compelled them an island about
half a mile distant from the shore, and was conquered by to embrace the Jewish religion; in consequence of which they at length Alexander the
Great. Connection, part i. book ii. sub anno 573. (vol. i. pp. became incorporated with that nation. Dr. Prideaux's Connection, part ii. 91, 92.) See Vol. I. pp. 124, 125. for the proofs of the literal accomplish book v. sub anno 129. (vol. ii. pp. 307, 308.), ment of Ezekiel's prophecy, that Tyre should be a place "to spread nets . See particularly 1 Cor. iii. 16. 2 Cor. vi. 16. Eph. ii. 20-22. I Tim. iii, 15. upon," and be "built no more." (xxvi 14.)
The same metaplior is also pursued in 2 Thess. ii. 4., and occurs repeat
cordingly, when they found that the second temple fell short, deserve to be compared with Homer, on account of his beauat least in their opinion, of the model of the temple de- tiful conceptions, his illustrious comparisons, and his extenscribed by Ezekiel, they supposed the prophecy to refer, at sive knowledge of various subjects, particularly of architecleast in part, to the period now mentioned: and, doubtless, ture. Bishop Lowth, in his twenty-first lecture on the sacred the temple and temple worship were a figure of Christ's poetry of the Hebrews, gives us the following description of church, frequently, represented in the New Testament under the peculiar and discriminating characters of this prophet. the metaphor of a temple, in allusion to the beauty, sym- “Ezekiel,” says he, " is much inferior to Jeremiah in elemetry, and firmness of that erected by Solomon, to its or-gance; in sublimity he is not even excelled by Isaiah : but derly worship, and to the manifestations of the divine pre- his sublimity is of a totally different kind. He is deep, vesence there vouchsafed. This section comprises the last hement, tragical; the only sensation he affects to excite is nine chapters of Ezekiel's prophecy; which are thus ana- the terrible; his sentiments are elevated, fervid, full of fire, lyzed by Dr. Smith :2
indignant; his imagery is crowded, magnificent, terrific, Ch. xl
. contains a description of the two outer courts, and of the cham- sometimes almost to disgust; his language is pompous, sobers belonging to thein (1–47.), together with the porch of the tem- lemn, austere, rough, and at times unpolished: he employs Ch. xli. describes the measures, parts, and ornaments of the temple but from the vehemence of passion and indignation. What
frequent repetitions, not for the sake of grace or elegance, Ch. xlii. describes the priests' chambers and their use, and the dimen- ever subject he treats of, that he sedulously pursues, from sions of the holy mount on which the temple stood.
that he rarely departs, but cleaves as it were to it; whence Ch. xliii. represents the glory of the Lord as returning to the temple, the connection is in general evident and well preserved. In sake those sins which caused him to depart from them. (1–11.) The many respects he is perhaps excelled by the other prophets; measures of the altar and the ordinances relating to it are set down. but in that species of composition to which he seems by na(12_27.) Ch. xliv. describes the glory of God as actually returned to the temple, ture adapted,—the forcible, the impetuous, the great and so
and reproves the Jews for suffering idolatrous priests to profane the lemn, -not one of the sacred writers is superior to him. temple with their ministrations. (1-14.) Ordinances are then given His diction is sufficiently perspicuous, all his obscurity confor the deportment of God's true priests, and the maintenance due to sists in the nature of the subject. Visions (as for instance, them. (15-31.) Ch. xlv. appoints the several portions of land for the sanctuary and its among others, those of Hosea, Amos, and Jeremiah) are
ministers (1–5.), for the city (6.), and for the prince (?, 8.); and insti- necessarily dark and confused. The greater part of Ezekiel,
tutes various ordinances concerning the provisions for the ordinary towards the middle of the book especially, is poetical, Ch. xlvi. (16—24.) gives directions concerning the inheriting of any part whether we regard the matter or the diction." His periods,
of the prince's portion, and also concerning the boiling and baking any however, are frequently so rude, that Bishop Lowth expresses Ch. xlvii. contains the vision of the holy waters issuing out of the tem himself as being often at a loss how to pronounce concerning ple, and their virtue (1–12.); a most beautiful emblem of the gradual his performance in this respect. In another place the same progress of the Gospel, and of the power of divine grace under it, learned prelate remarks, that Ezekiel should be oftener which is capable of healing all but the incorrigibly impenitent and classed among the orators than the poets; and he is of opinion after all the care or culture that can be bestowed upon it, continues that, with respect to style, we may justly assign to Ezekiel barren and unprofitable. The extent and division of the Holy Land the same rank among the Hebrews, as Homer, Simonides, are then described, which is to be indiscriminately shared between and Æschylus hold among the Greeks. cally denoting the incorporation of the Gentiles into the same church From this high praise of Bishop Lowth's, his learned anwith the Jews. (Compare Eph. iii. 6.)
notator, Michaelis, dissents; and is so far from esteeming Ch. xlviii. comprises a description of the several portions of land belong; Ezekiel as equal to Isaiah in sublimity, that he is disposed to the sanctuary (8—11.), the city (15–19.), and the prince (20—22.); to think the prophet displays more art and luxuriance in amand also the measures and names of the gates of the new city. plifying and decorating his subject, than is consistent with (30—35.)
poetical fervour, or, indeed, with true sublimity. Michaelis The points in these prophecies, which are principally further pronounces Ezekiel to be in general an imitator, who worthy of attention, are the following ;from the scene, should have announced the beginning of the and is of opinion that, as the prophet lived at a period when
1. That the prophet, more than one hundred miles distant possesses the art of giving an air of novelty and ingenuity, siege of Jerasalem on the very day it took place; and, like the Hebrew language was visibly on the decline; and also Jeremiah, should have constantly predicted the conquest and that, if we compare him with the Latin poets who succeeded destruction of the city, and the carrying away of the inhabi- the Augustan
age, we may find some resemblance in the tants.
style, something that indicates the old age of poetry. In 2. That he should have foreseen also the flight of Zede- these sentiments the English translator of Bishop Lowth's kiah through the broken walls at night, together with these lectures partially acquiesces, observing that Ezekiel's fault circumstances; viz. that he should be overtaken by the Chal- is a want of neither novelty nor sublimity, but of grace and dæans, and that he should not be slain, but carried into their uniformity; while Eichhorn minutely discusses his claims country, which, however, he should not see. This was to originality. Archbishop Newcome, however, has comverified by Nebuchadnezzar's causing his eyes to be put out. pletely vindicated the prophet's style. He observes, with
3. 'That moreover, like Jeremiah, he should plainly predict equal truth and judgment, that Ezekiel is not to be considered the return of the Jews to their country, and their perseve- as the framer of those august and astonishing visions, and rance in the worship of God,-events so remote and in them- of those admirable poetical representations which he comselves improbable,—and also the conquest of Idumæa by the mitted to writing; but as an instrument in the hands of God, Hebrews.
who vouchsafed to reveal himself, through a long succession 4. That he should have announced not only the demolition of ages, not only in divers parts constituting a magnificent of Tyre, to be rebuilt no more (for the new city was founded and uniform whole, but also in different manners, as by voice, upon an island), but also that its ruins should be thrown into by dreams, by inspiration, and by plain or enigmatical vision. the sea; a prediction which Alexander unconsciously veri- If he is circumstantial in describing the wonderful scenes fied.
which were presented to him in the visions of God, he should 5. Lastly, that like Jeremiah, he should have foretold the be regarded as a faithful representer of the divine revelations, advent of Messiah the great son of David, at a period when for the purpose of information and instruction, and not as exDavid's family were deprived of royal dignity.
hausting an exuberant fancy in minutely filling up an ideal V. Most biblical critics concur in opinion as to the excel- picture. The
learned prelate thinks it probable that Buzi, lency and sublimity of Ezekiel's style. Grotius observes, the prophet's father, had preserved his own family from the that he possessed great erudition and genius; so that, setting taint of idolatry, and had educated his son for the priestly aside his gift of prophecy, which is incomparable, he may office in all the learning of the Hebrews, and particularly in
he study of their sacred books. Being a youth at the time of edly in the Revelation of St. John, who not only describes the heavenly his captivity,—a season of life when the fervour of imagination sanctuary by representations taken from the Jewish temple (see Rev. xi. is natural in men of superior endowments,
his genius led 19. xiv. 17. xv. 5. 3.), but also transcribes several of Ezekiel's expressions him to amplification, like that of some of the Roman poets ; from the state of the first temple, not of the second temple which existed though he occasionally shows himself capable of the austere in our Saviour's time ; as if the foriner had a more immediate reference and concise style, of which the seventh chapter is a remarkto the times of the Gospel Compare Rev. iv. 1. &c. with Ezek i. 6. et seq. able instance. But the Divine Spirit did not overrule the -Lowth on Ezek. xl. 1 Reeves and Lowth on Ezek, xl.
natural bent of his mind. Variety is thus produced in the - View of the Prophets, pp. 153, 154. * Præf. ad Ezechiel. in Crit. Sacr. tom. iv. p. 8.
• Bishop Lowth's Lectures, vol. ii. pp. 89–35.
THE JEWS FROM BABYLON.
sacred writings. Nahum sounds the trumpet of war; Hosea when he treats of the advent of the Messiah, whom he is sententious, Isaiah sublime, Jeremiah pathetic, Ezekiel emphatically terms “ the desire of all nations.” copious. This diffuseness of manner in mild and affectionate exhortation, this vehement enlarging on the guilt and consequent sufferings of his countrymen, seems wisely adapted to their capacities and circumstances, and must have
§ 2. ON THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET ZECHARIAH. had a forcible tendency to awaken them from their lethargy.' I. Author and date.—II. „Analysis of its contents.—III. Obser
vations on its style.-IV. The last six chapters proved to be
BEFORE CHRIST, 520–518.
I. Although the names of Zechariah's father and grandON THE PROPHETS WHO FLOURISHED AFTER THE RETURN OF
father are specified (Zech. i. 1.), it is not known from what tribe or family this prophet was descended, nor where he was
born; but that he was one of the captives who returned to § 1. ON THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET HAGGAI. Jerusalem in consequence of the decree of Cyrus, is unques
tionable. As he opened his prophetic commission in the I. Author and date.-II. Argument and scope.—III. Analysis eighth month of the second year of Darius the son of Hysof its contents.-IV. Observations on its style.
taspes, that is, about the year 520 before the Christian æra, BEFORE CHRIST, 520–518.
it is evident that he was contemporary with Haggai, and his
authority was equally effectual in promoting the building of I. Nothing is certainly known concerning the tribe or the temple. From an expression in ch. ii. 4. we have every birth-place of Haggai, the tenth in order of the minor prophets, reason to believe that Zechariah was called to the prophetic but the first of the three who were commissioned to make ministry when he was a young man. known the divine will to the Jews after their return from
II. The prophecy of Zechariah consists of two parts, the captivity. The general opinion, founded on the assertion of first of which concerns the events which were then taking the pseudo-Epiphanius, is that he was born at Babylon, and place, viz. the restoration of the temple, interspersing predicwas one of the Jews who returned with Zerubbabel, in con- tions relative to the advent of the Messiah. The second part sequence of the edict of Cyrus. The same author affirms comprises prophecies relative to more remote events, particuthat he was buried at Jerusalem among the priests, whence larly the coming of Jesus Christ, and the war of the Romans some have conjectured that he was of the family of Aaron. against the Jews. The times of his predictions, however, are so distinctly marked by himself
, that we have as much certainty on this PART I. contains the Prophecies delivered in the second Year of point as we have with respect to any of the prophets.
Darius King of Persia. (i.—vi.) II. The Jews, who were released from captivity in the first Discourse 1. An exhortation to the Jews who had returned year of the reign of Cyrus (Ezra i. 1. et seq.), having re- from captivity, to guard against those sins which had drawn turned to Jerusalem and commenced the rebuilding of the so much distress upon their ancestors, and to go on with the temple (Ezra ij. iii.), were interrupted in their undertakings building of the temple (i. 1–6.), which it is predicted that by the neighbouring satraps, who contrived to prejudice the Darius should permit (7–17.); and that the Samaritans Persian monarch (the pseudo-Smerdis) against them (Ezra should be compelled to suspend their opposition to the buildiv. 1. with 24.) until the second year of Darius. Discou- ing. (18—21.) Further to encourage the Jews in their work, raged by these impediments, the people ceased, for fourteen the prophet foretells the prosperity of Jerusalem (ii. 1–5.), years, to prosecute the erection of the second temple, as if and admonishes the Jews to depart from Babylon before her the time were not yet come, and applied themselves to the destruction (6—9.), promising them the divine presence. building of their own houses: but God, disposing that sove- (10–13.). These promises, though primarily to be underreign to renew the decree of Cyrus, raised up the prophet stood of the Jews after their return from Babylon, are seconHaggai about the year 520 before Christ; and, in conse
darily and principally to be understood of the restoration of the quence of his exhortations, they resumed the work, which
Jews, and their conversion to the Gospel. was completed in a few years.
Discourse 2. Under the type of Joshua the high-priest, clothed Further, in order to encourage them to proceed in this
with new sacerdotal-attire, is set forth the glory of Christ as undertaking, the prophet assured them from God, that the
the chief corner-stone of his church. (8—10.) glory of this latter house should far exceed the glory of the Discourse 3. Under the vision of the golden candlestick and former. III. The book of the prophet Haggai comprises three dis
two olive trees is typically represented the success of Zerube.
babel and Joshua in rebuilding the temple and restoring its, tinct prophecies or discourses, viz.
service. (iv.) Discourse 1. The prophet reproves the delay of the people in Discourse 4. Under the vision of a flying roll, the divine judg.
rebuilding the temple; which neglect he denounces as the ments are denounced against robbery and perjury (v. 1-4.) :
several sorts of horses, are represented the succession of the Discourse 2. The prophet further encourages the builders hy a
Babylonians, Persians, Macedo-Greek and Roman empires promise, that the glory of the second temple should surpass
(vi. 1—8.), and by the two crowns placed upon the head of that of the first; and that in the following year God would
Joshua are set forth primarily, the re-establishment of the bless them with a fruitful harvest. (ii. 1–19.) This pro
civil and religious polity of the Jews under Zerubbabel and phecy was fulfilled by Jesus Christ honouring the second Joshua; and, secondarily but principally, the high-priesthood temple with his presence, and there publishing his saving doc- and kingdom of Christ, here emphatically termed the Branch trine to the world. See Luke xix. 47. xx. 1. xxi. 38. John
(9—15.), who is to be both king and high-priest of the church xviii. 20.2
of God. Discourse 3. The prophet foretells the setting up of the Mes- Part 2. Prophecies delivered in the fourth Year of the Reign siah's kingdom under the name of Zerubbabel. (ii. 20—23.)
of Durius. (vii.
xiv.) IV. The style of this prophet is for the most part plain Discourse 1. Some Jews having been sent to Jerusalem from and prosaic, and vehement when he reproves; it is, however, interspersed with passages of much sublimity and pathos
the exiles then at Babylon, to inquire of the priests and prophets whether they were still bound to observe the fasts that
had been instituted on account of the destruction of Jeru1 Archbishop Newcome's Preface to his Translation of Ezekiel, pp. xxvii . xxviii. To justify the character above given, the learned prelaie
salem, and which had been observed during the captivity descends to particulars (which we have not room to specify), and gives op- (vii. 1-3.),—the prophet is commanded to take this occasion posite examples, not only of the clear, the flowing, and the nervous, but also of the sublime. He concludes his observations on the style of Ezekiel
of enforcing upon them the weightier matters of the law, viz. by stating it to be his deliberate opinion, that, if the prophet's "style is judgment and mercy, lest the same calamities should befall the old age of the Hebrew language and composition, it is a firm and vigor. them which had been inflicted upon their fathers for their negous one, and should induce us to trace its youth and manhood with the most assiduous attention.” Ibid. pp. xxviii.-Ixii.
lect of those duties. (4—14.) In the event of their obedience, · W. Lowth's Commentary on Haggai.
God promises the continuance of his favour (vii, 1–8.) i
they are encouraged to go on with the building (9—17.), and 2. It is urged, that many things are mentioned in these are permitted to discontinue the observance of the fasts which chapters, which by no means correspond with Zechariah's they had kept during the captivity. (18—23.)
time; as, when events are foretold, which had actually taken Discourse 2. contains predictions of the conquest of Syria, place before that time. But it may be questioned, whether
Phænicia, and Palestine, by Alexander the Great (ix. 1—7.), those subjects of prophecy have been rightly understood; and of the watchful providence of God over his temple in those and whether that, which has been construed as having retroublesome times. (8.) Whence he takes occasion to de- ference to past transactions, may not in reality terminate in scribe, as in a parenthesis, the advent of Christ (9, 10. with others of a later period, and some perhaps which are yet to Matt. xxi. 5. and John xii. 15.); and then returning to his come. former subject, he announces the conquest of the Jews, particu
3. Another argument is drawn from ch. xi., which conlarly of the Maccabees, over the princes of the Grecian mo- tains a prophecy of the destruction of the temple and people narchy. (11—17.) Prosperity is further promised to the Jews of the Jews ;-a prophecy, “which (it has been said) is not (x. 1—3.), and their victories over their enemies are again agreeable to the scope of Zechariah's commission, who, toforetold. (4–12.) It is probable that this prophetic discourse gether with his colleague Haggai, was sent to encourage the remains to be fully accomplished in the general and final re- people, lately returned from captivity, to build their temple, storation of the Jews.
and to restore their commonwealth." This, it is granted, Discourse 3. predicts the rejection of the Jews for their rejec
was the general scope of Zechariah's commission in the first tion of Messiah, and valuing him and his labours at the eight chapters; nor would it have been a fit time to foretell base price of thirty pieces of silver. (xi.). This prediction was
the destruction of both the temple and commonwealth, while literally fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. (Compare Matt. they were but yet building. But, between the date of these xxvi. 14, 15, and xxvii. 3—10. with Zech. xi. 11–13.) The stances might have occurred, and certainly did occur, to give
first chapters and that of the succeeding ones, many circumJews themselves have expounded this prophecy of the Mes- rise to a commission of a very different complexion from the
siah. Discourse 4. comprises a series of prophecies, relating princi- and fourth years of the reign of Darius; to the latter, no
foregoing. The former are expressly dated in the second pally to the latter times of the Gospel." The former part of it date at all is annexed. Darius is supposed to have reigned (xii. 1—9.) announces the preservation of Jerusalem against thirty-six years ; and the Jews have a tradition that the three an invasion in the last ages of the world, which most com- prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, did not die before mentators think is that of Gog and Magog, more largely de the last
year of that king's reign. Adınitting, then, Zechascribed in the thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth chapters of Ezekiel. riah to have prophesied again towards the close of his life, The grief of the Jews, for their fathers having crucified the he may well
be supposed to have published without any inMessiah, on their conversion, is then foretold (10--14.), as congruity, after such an interval, what would not altogether also the crucifixion itself, and the general conversion of the have accorded with the period and purport of his first comJews. (xiii.) The destruction of their enemies, predicted at mission. And as there is good reason to believe that this the beginning of this prophetic sermon, is again foretold was the case; so upon this ground we may also not improba(xiv. 1–15.); and the prophecy concludes with announcing bly conclude him to have been that very Zechariah of whom the final conversion of all nations to the Gospel, and the pros- our Saviour spake (Matt. xxiii. 35.) ás slain between the perity of the church. (16—21.)
temple and the altar. For he was, according to our Saviour's His style, like that of Haggai , is for the most part prosaic, at the
close of that series of prophets (for there were none III. Zechariah is the longest of the twelve minor prophets. description, the son of Barachias, and comes in—where, though more obscure towards the beginning on account of his types and visions. But the difficulties arising from his after him until the coming of Christ) who were put to death alleged obscurity may be accounted for by the fact, “ that in the faithful discharge of their duty. That he was become some of his predictions relate to matters which are still in- obnoxious to his countrymen, may be collected from ch. xi. 8. volved in the womb of futurity: no wonder, then, that these And, if the records of the Old Testament are silent concernfall not within the reach of our perfect comprehension. Others ing his death, let it be remembered that it was a very small there are, which we have good reason to believe have al- part of them, if any, that was written after that event. ready been fulfilled, but do not appear with such a degree of
4. Lastly, upon the same supposition, the allowed dif evidence, as they probably would have done, if we had been ference of style and manner may be accounted for, not only better informed concerning the time and facts to which they ferent age of the author; who may well be credited to have
as arising from the diversity of the subject, but from the difrelate. With respect to the emblems and types that are ex- written with more dignity in his advanced years, than when hibited, they are most of them of easy and determinate application. And in favour of the importance of his subject he was but a youth, as he is said to be in ch. ii. 4. matter, it must be acknowledged that, next to Isaiah, Zecha
Upon the whole this conclusion may be drawn; that riah is the most evangelical of all the prophets, having more setting aside the doubtful authority of St. Matthew's text, frequent and more clear and direct allusions to the character there is nothing else to be found sufficient to invalidate the and coming
of the Messiah, and his kingdom, than any of title of Zechariah to the chapters in question ;2 and, conse the rest. Nor in his language and composition do we find quently, that it was not written by Jeremiah, 'as Mede, Dr any particular bias to obscurity, except that
the quickness Hammond, and others have supposed, nor before the time of and suddenness of the transitions are sometimes apt to con- that prophet, as Archbishop Newcome conjectured, whose found the boundaries of discourse, so as to leave the less opinion was adopted by Archbishop Secker, and also by attentive reader at a loss to whom the several parts of it are
Doederlein. to be ascribed. But upon the whole we shall find the diction remarkably pure, the construction natural and perspicuous, and the style judiciously varied according to the nature of
3. ON THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET MALACHI. the subject; siinple and plain in the narrative and historical I. Author and date.—II. Occasion and scope of his prophecy. parts; but in those that are wholly prophetical, the latter -III. Analysis of its contents.-IV. Style. chapters in particular, rising to a degree of elevation and
BEFORE CHRIST, 436_-420. grandeur scarcely inferior to the sublimest of the inspired
I. CONCERNING Malachi, the last of the minor prophets writings."
IV. The diversity of style observable in the writings of (which name signifies my angel or my messenger), so little this prophet has induced many modern critics to conclude is known, that it has been doubted whether his name be a that the last six chapters could not have been written by proper name, or only a generic name, signifying the angel Zechariah : but their objections, however formidable in ap- of Haggai (i. 13.) with Malachi (iii. 1.), it appears, that in pearance, admit of an easy and satisfactory solution. 1. It is alleged that the evangelist Matthew (xxvii. 9.)
those times the appellation of Malach-Jehovah, or the messencites a passage now found in Zech. xi. 13. as spoken, not by ger of the Lord, was given to the prophets. The
Septuagint Zechariah, but by Jeremiah. But it is more probable (as we translators have rendered Malachi his angel instead of my have already shown in the first volume of this work), that the name of Jeremiah has slipped into the text through some of the latter part of the prophecy of Zechariah is satisfactorily proved, by
2 Dr. Blayney's Translation of Zechariah, pp. 35–37. The genuineness. mistake of the transcribers.
a minute examination of its language, style, poetical structure, argument and scope, by Dr. F. B. Koester, in his Meletemata Critica in Zechariæ
Prophetæ Partem posteriorem, cap. ix.-xiv. pro tuenda ejus authentia. 1 Dr Blayaey's Translation of Zechariah, Prek Disc. pp. xv. xvi. | 8vo. Gottingæ, 1819.