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changing the words, or attempting to reconcile inconsisten- It is further to be observed, that "these genealogical tables are ex. cies. It is evident, therefore, that the author of these books
ceedingly brief. Nothing is to be found of the tribe of Dan. That
of Benjamin is twice introduced. (1 Chron. vii. 6–12. and viii.) The lived after the captivity, and derived his materials from the
genealogies of the priests and Levites are given most in detail, and memoirs of writers contemporary with the events recorded, terminate with the destruction of Jerusalem. They are, however, and who flourished long before his time. The authenticity
very far from being complete : even those of the high-priests, ex:
tending through one thousand years, comprehend only twenty-two of these books is abundantly supported by the general mass successions, where thirty mighi be expected. (1 Chron. vi.) Those of external evidence; by which also their divine authority is of the tribe of Judah are pretty copious (1 Chron. ii. 3—17. iv. 1fully established, as well as by the indirect attestations of 22.), and the register of David's descendants runs down to the fourth
century before Christ. (1 Chron. i11.) All these tables relate to disour Lord and his apostles.1
tinguished families and individuals : they occasionally contain many III. The principal Scope of these books is to exhibit with important historical notices, which prove that historical inatters accuracy the genealogies, the rank, the functions, and the or- were occasionally introduced in the original tables. See i Chron. iv.
9, 10. v. 19-22. and vii. 21-23.". der of the priests and Levites; that, after the captivity, they might more easily assume their proper ranks, and re-enter on Part II. The Histories of Saul and David. (1 Chron. ix. 35– their ministry. The author had further in view, to show how 44. X.--xxix. 1-22.) the lands had been distributed among the families before the
Sect. 1. The pedigree of Saul and his death. (1 Chron. ix captivity; so that the respective tribes might on their return 35—41. X.) obiain, as far as was practicable, the ancient inheritance of their fathers. He quotes old records by the name of ancient
Sect. 2. The history and transactions of the reign of David;
including, things (1 Chron. iv. 22.), and recites four several rolls or numberings of the people;—one taken in the time of David, $ i. His inauguration ; list of his worthies, and account of his forces.
(xi. xii.) a second in the time of Jeroboam, a third in the time of
$ ii. The bringing up of the ark from Kirjath-jcarim, first to the house Jotham, and a fourth in the time of the captivity of the ten of Obededom, and thence to Jerusalem ; and the solemn service and tribes. In other places he speaks of the numbers which had thanksgiving on that occasion. (xiji.-xvi.) David's intention of been taken by order of king David, but which Joab did not
building a temple approved of hy Jehovah. (xvii.)
Siji. The victories of David over the Philistines, Moabites, Syrians, finish. Hence we may perceive the extreme accuracy affect- and Edomites (xviii.); and over the Aminonites, Syrians, and Philis. ed by the Jews in their historical documents and genealogies :
tines. (xix. xx.) the latter, indeed, could not be corrupted formerly (for most
$ iv. David takes a census of the people; a plague inflicted, which is
stayed at his intercession. (xxi. 1-27.) of the people could repeat them memoriter); although, from $v. An account of David's regulations for the constant service of the frequent transcription, much confusion has been introduced temple :- His preparations and directions concerning the building of into many of the names, which it is now, perhaps, impossi
it (xxi. 27-30. xxii. xxiii. 1.); regulations concerning the Levites
(xxiii. 2–32.); the priests (xxiv.), singers (xXV.), and porters or ble to clear up. It is, however, most evident that the basis keepers of the gates. (xxvi.) of the books of Chronicles was a real history and real gene- vi. Regulations for the administration of his kingdom ; list of his mili. alogies : for such particulars of names and other circum
tary and civil officers. (xxvii.)
vii.' David's address to Solomon and his princes concerning the stances would never have been invented by any person, as no building of the temple (xxviii.); the liberal contributions of David imaginable purpose could be answered by it; and the hazard and his subjects for this purpose, and his thanksgiving for them.
(xxix. 1-22.) of making mistakes, and being thereby exposed when they were first published, would be very great.
Part III. The History of the United Kingdom of Israel and IV. The Chronicles are an abridgment of all the sacred Judah under Solomon. (1 Chron. xxix. 23–30. 2 Chron. history, but more especially from the origin of the Jewish i.-ix.) nation to their return from the first captivity. The FIRST Sect. 1. The second inauguration of Solomon :- Death of Book traces the rise and propagation of the people of Israel David; the piety, wisdom, and grandeur of Solomon. from Adam, and afterwards gives a circumstantial account of (1 Chron. xxix. 23–30. 2 Chron. i.) the reign and transactions of David. In the SECOND Book the
SECT. 2. Account of the erection and consecration of the temnarrative is continued, and relates the progress and dissolution of the kingdom of Judah, to the very year of the return of the
ple, and of some other edifices erected by him. (2 Chron. Ü.
-viii. 16.) Jews from the Babylonish captivity: as very little notice is Sect. 3. The remainder of Solomon's reign to his death. (viii. taken of the kings of Israel, it is not improbable that this book
17, 18. ix.) was chiefly extracted from the records of the kingdom of Judah. The period of time embraced in the books of Chronicles Part IV. The History of the Kingdom of Judah, from the seis about 3168 years; and they may be commodiously divided cession of the Ten Pribes, under Jeroboam, to its Termination into four parts; viz.-1. The genealogies of those persons by Nebuchadnezzar. (2 Chron. 1.—xxxvi.) through whom the Messiah was to descend, from Adam to the
Sect. 1. The accession of Rehoboam to the throne of the captivity, and to the time of Ezra ;–2. The histories of Saul and David ;-3. The history of the united kingdoms of
united kingdom; its division ; Jerusalem plundered by Israel and Judah under Solomon; and, 4. The history of the
Shishak. (2 Chron. X.-xii.) kingdom of Judah after the secession of the ten tribes from
Sect. 2. The reigns of Abijah and Asa kings of Judah. (xiii. Rehoboam, to its utter subversion by Nebuchadnezzar.
Sect. 3. The reign of Jehoshaphat. (xvii.—xx.) Part I. Genealogical Tables from Adam to the time of Ezra. (1 Chron. i.-ix. 1–34.)
Sect. 4. The reigns of Jehoram and Ahaziah ; the usurpation
of Athaliah. (xxi. xxii.) Sect. 1. Genealogies of the patriarchs from Adam to Jacob, and of the descendants of Judah to David, and his posterity
Sect. 5. The reign of Joash. (xxiii. xxiv.) to Zerubbabel, from whom the Messiah was to descend.
Sect. 6. The reigns of Amaziah, Uzziah, and Jotham. (xxv. (1 Chron. i.-iii.)
-xxvii.) Sect. 2. Genealogies of other descendants of Judah by Pharez,
Sect. 7. The reign of Ahaz. (xxviii.).
Sect. 8. The reign of Hezekiah. (xxix.-xxxii.) and of the remaining eleven sons of Jacob. (iv.-viii, ix. 1.)
Sect. 9. The reigns of Manasseh and Ammon. (xxxiii.) Sect. 3. Genealogies of the first inhabitants of Jerusalem,
Sect. 10. The reign of Josiah. (xxxiv. xxxv.) after their return from the Babylonish captivity. (ix. 2——34.)
Sect. 11. The reigns of Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and This long series of genealogies is a signal testimony to the origin and preservation of the Jewish church ainong ipar kind; and of the tul.
Zedekiah, the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple. filment of the divine promises to Abraham, that his seed should be (xxxvi.) multiplied as the sand upon the sea-shore. (Gen. xxii. 17.) These genealogies are also of very great importance, as exhibiting the detail of the sacred line, through which the promise of the Messiah • Jahn's Introduction by Prof. Turner, p. 200. was transmitted: so that “when in the fulne of time this promised • The last two verses of the second book of Chronicles are evidently the Mediator was revealed in the flesh, the church and the people of beginning of the book of Ezra, which follows next in the order of the God might infallibly know that this was that very promised seed of canon; and must have been copied from it before the transcriber was the woman, the son of Abraham and the son of Davidl."! In perus. aware of his error: but, finding his mistake, he abruptly broke oft, and be. ing the Hebrew genealogies, it will be necessary to remember that gan the book of Ezra at the customary distance, without publishing his the terus "father," "son," "begat," and "begollen," which are error by erasing or blotting out those lines which he had inadvertently of such frequent occurrence in them, do not always denote imme. subjoined to the book of Chronicles. This copy, however, being in other diate procreation or filiation, but extend to any distant progenitor.3 respects of authority, has been followed in all subsequent copies, as well as
in all the ancient versions. This circumstance affords a proof of the scru. Coupare i Chron. xxiii. 13. with Heb. v. 4. and xxiv. 10. with Luke i. pulous exactness with which the copies of the canonical books were aller5. ; 2 Chron. ix. I. with Matt. xii. 42. and Luke xi. 31. ; and 2 Chron. xxiv. wards taken. No writer or translator would take upon himself to correct 20. 21. with Matt. xxii. 35. and Luke xi. 51.
even a manifest error. How then can we think that any other alteration, * Roberts's Clavis Bibliorum, p. 105.
diminution, or addition, would voluntarily be made by any of the Jewish 3 Thus io Gen. xxix. 5. Laban is called the son of Nahor, though, in fact, nation, or not have been detected if it had been attempted by any person 3 he was only his "grandson" by Bethuel. Siinilar instances are often to Dr. Kennicott, Diss. i. pp. 491–194. Dr. Priestley, Notes on Scripture, be found in the Scriptures.
vol. ii. p. 94.
ON THE BOOK OF EZRA.
V. Independently of the important moral and religious instruction to be derived from the two books of Chronicles, as
SECTION VIII. illustrating the divine dispensation towards a highly favoured but ungrateful people, the second book is extremely valuable in a critical point of view; not only as it contains some histo- I. Title and author.-II. Argument, scope, and synopsis of its rical particulars which are not mentioned in any other part of contents.—III. Observations on a spurious pussage ascribed the Old Testament, but also as it affords us many genuine to Ezra. readings, which, by the inaccuracy of transcribers, are now lost in the older books of the Bible. The discrepancies be- reckoned by the Jews as one volume, and were divided by
1. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah were anciently tween the books of Kings and Chronicles, though very them into the first and second books of Ezra. The same dinumerous, are not of any great moment, and admit of an easy vision is recognised by the Greek and Latin churches : but arising from the nature of the books; which being supple- the third book, assigned to Ezra, and received as canonical by mentary to those of Samuel and Kings, omit what is there the Greek church, is the same, in substance, as the book related more at large, and supply what is there wanting. It which properly bears his name, but interpolated. And the should further be recollected, that, after the captivity, the fourth book, which has been attributed to him, is a manifest Hebrew language was slightly varied from what it had for- forgery, in which the marks of falsehood are plainly discernmerly been ; that different places had received new names, or either by the Greek or by the Latin church, although some
ible, and which was never unanimously received as canonical undergone sundry vicissitudes : that certain things were now better known to the returned Jews under other appellations, of the fathers have cited it, and the Latin church has borthan under those by which they had formerly been distin- rowed some words out of it. It is not now extant in Greek, guished ; and that, from the materials to which the author and never was extant in Hebrew.
It is evident that the author of the book of Ezra was pero had access (and which frequently were different from those consulted by the writers of the royal histories), he has sonally present at the transactions recorded in it, the narrative selected those passages which appeared to him best adapted being in the first person. It also bears upon the face of it to his purpose, and most suitable to the time in which he every character of natural simplicity, and contains more parwrote.' It must also be considered, that he often elucidates ticulars of time, persons, and places, than could have been obscure and ambiguous words in former books by a different introduced by any other individual. That the last four chapmode of spelling them, or by a different order of the words ters of this book were written by Ezra himself there can be employed, even when he does not use a distinct phraseology of the seventh chapter, and likewise frequently introduces
no doubt, as he particularly describes himself in the beginning of narration, which he sometimes adopts.?
As the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles relate the himself in the subsequent chapters. The Jews, indeed, same histories, they should each be constantly read and col- ascribe the whole of this book to Ezra, and their opinion is lated together ; not only for the purpose of obtaining a more
adopted by most Christian commentators. But as the writer comprehensive view of Jewish history, but also in order to of the first six chapters appears, from ch. v. 4., to have been illustrate or amend from one book what is obscure in either at Jerusalem in the reign of Darius Hystaspes, and it is evident of the others.
from the beginning of the seventh chapter that Ezra did not The following table of the more remarkable parallel pas- go thither until the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus (a dissages of the books of Chronicles and those of Samuel and tance of sixty years), some persons have ascribed the first six Kings will assist the reader in his collation of these books::_ chapters to a more ancient author. This, however, does not
necessarily follow : and we apprehend it will appear that these chapters were written by Ezra as well as the last four:
In the first place, from the intimate connection of the sixth chapter with the seventh : for the diversity of speech and narration observable in them may readily be accounted for by
the circumstance of Ezra's having copied, or extracted from, xii. 30. et seq. the authentic memoirs, which he found on his arrival at Jeru
salem, of the transactions that had happened since the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity.
Secondly, the same method of narration prevails in both parts : for, as in the second part (ch. vii. 12—26.), the royal decree is inserted, entire, in the Chaldee dialect; so, in the
first part, the edict of Cyrus, the epistle of the Samaritans to 1 Kings x. 1--13.
the Pseudo-Smerdis, and his reply to them, together with
part of the fourth chapter, are also given in Chaldee. 1 Kings xii. 1-24.
And, lastly, in the third place, it is not likely that a short 1 Kings xiv. 25-28. 1 Kings xv. 17--22.
historical compendium, like the book of Ezra, should be the 1 Kings xxii. 2--35. work of more than one author: nor ought we to assign it to I Kings xxii, 41-50.
several authors, unless we had either express declarations 2 Kings viii, 17—24. 2 Kings viii. 26--29.
or internal evidence that they were concerned in it; all these 2 Kings xi.
evidences are wanting in the book of Ezra.
This book is written in Chaldee from chapter iv. 8. to 2 Chron. xxv. 144. 11. 17-24, 27, 28. 3 Kings xiv
. 17-14, 19, 20. chapter vi. 18. and chapter vii. 12—26. As this portion of 2 Kings xv. 33. 35. Ezra chiefly consists of letters, conversations, and decrees,
expressed in that language, the fidelity of the historian 2 Kings xviii. 2, 3.
pro2 Kings xviii. 17-37
bably induced him to take down the very words which were 2 Kings xx. 1-19.
used. The people, too, having been accustomed to the 2 Kings xxi, 1–10. Chaldee during the captivity, were in all probability better 2 Kings xxii. 2 Kings xxiii. 1-20.
acquainted with it than with the Hebrew ; for it appears from 2 Kings xxiii. 22, 23. Nehemiah's account that they did not all understand the law
of Moses as it had been delivered in the original Hebrew 2 Kings xxiii. 31-34.
II. The book of Ezra harmonizes most strictly with the · The above remark will be clearly illustrated by comparing 2 Kings xxiv. 6. with 2 Chron. xxxvi. 6. and Jer. xxxvi. 30. ; 1 Kings xv. 2. with 2Chron: prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah, which it materially eluxv. 19.; 1 Kings xxii. 44. with 2 Chron. xvij. 6.; 2 Kings ix. 27. with 2 Chron.cidates. (Compare Ezra v. with Hagg. i. 12. and Zech. iii. xxii
. 9.' See also Professor Dahler's learned Disquisition “ De Librorum iv.) It evinces the paternal care of Jehovah over his chosen 1919); in which he has instituted a minute collation of the books of Chiro: people, whose history it relates from the time of the edict nicles with the books of Samuel and of Kings; and has satisfactorily vindi. issued by Cyrus, to the twentieth year of Artaxerxes Longicated their genuineness and credibility against the insinuations and objec. manus,-a period of about seventy-nine or, according to some tions of some recent sceptical German critics. 3 Calmer's Dictionary, article Chronicles, in fine.
chronologers, of one hundred years. This book consists of * This table is copied from Prof. Turner's and Mr. Whittingham's trans- two principal divisions: the first contains a narrative of the lation of Jahn, p. 272. note.
return of the Jews from Babylon under the conduct of Zerub
1 Chron. x. 1-12. 1 Chron. xi. 1--9. 1 Chron. xi. 10-41. 1 Chron. xiii. 1-14. 1 Chron. xiv. 1-7. I Chron. xvii. 1 Chron. xviii. 1 Chron. xix. 1 Chron. xx. 1-3. 1 Chron. xx. 4-8. 1 Chron. xxi. 2 Chron. i. 3-13. 2 Chron. i. 14-17. 2 Chron. ii. 2 Chron. iii. iv. 2 Chron. v. 2. vii. 10. 2 Chron. vii. 11-22. 2 Chron. viij. 2 Chron. ix. l-12. 2 Chron. ix. 13-31. 2 Chron. x. 1. xi. 4. 2 Chron. xii. 2-11. 2 Chron. xvi. 1-6. 2 Chron. xviii. 2 Chron. xx. 31-37. 2 Chron. xxi. 6-10. 2 Chron. xxii. 2-6. 2 Chron. xxii. 10. xxiii. 21. 2 Chron. xxiv. 1-14. .
I Sam. xxxi.
1 Kings x. 14-29.
2 Kings xii. 1-16.
2 Kings xvi. 2-4.
2 Chron. xxvi. 1, 2.
2 Kings xxiii. 29, 30.
babel; and the second gives an account of the reformation of for by supposing it either to have been added by some subse religion under Ezra.
quent author, or, perhaps, by the authority of the great synaPart I. From the Return of the Jews under Zerubbabel to the gogue : for it seems to be unconnected with the narrative of Rebuilding of the Temple. (ch. i.-vi.)
Nehemiah, and, if genuine, must ascribe to him a degree of Sect. 1. The edict of Cyrus, permitting the Jews to return into longevity which appears scarcely credible.2 Judæa and rebuild the temple; account of the people who of Levi, but, in the opinion of others, of the royal house of
II. Nehemiah, according to some writers, was of the tribe first returned under the conduct of Zerubbabel, and of their Judah : 'as the office he held in the Persian court (that of offerings towards rebuilding the temple. (i.ii.) On this cup-bearer) was a post of great honour and influence, it is joyous occasion it is probable that the hundred and twenty- certain that he was a man of illustrious family; and of his sixth psalm was composed.
integrity, prudence, and piety, the whole of this book presents Sect. 2. The building of the temple commenced, but hindered abundant evidence. He arrived at Jerusalem thirteen years by the Samaritans. (iii. iv.)
after Ezra, with the rank of governor of the province, and Sect. 3. The temple finished in the sixth year of Darius Hys- vested with full power and authority to encourage the retaspes, by the encouragement of the decree issued in the building of the walls of that city, and to promote the welfare second year of his reign. (v. vi.)
of his countrymen in every possible way. The history contained in the book of Esther should be read after these Having governed Judæa for twelve years (Neh. xiii. 6.), two chapters, as it relates to this period of Jewish history.
Nehemiah returned to his royal patron (ii. 6.), and after a Part II. The Arrival of Ezra at Jerusalem, and the Reforma- short time he obtained permission to return to his country, tion made there by him. (vii.—x.)
where he is supposed to have spent the remainder of his life. Sect. 1. The departure of Ezra from Babylon with a commis- His book may be conveniently divided into four parts; viz. sion from Artaxerxes Longimanus. (vii.)
Part Ì. The Departure of Nehemiah from Shushan, with a Sect. 2. Account of his retinue and arrival at Jerusalem. (viii.) Royal Commission to rebuild the Walls of Jerusalem, and Sect. 3. Narrative of the reformation effected by him. (ix. x.) his first Arrival there. (ch. i. ii. 1-11.)
The zeal and piety of Ezra appear, in this book, in a most Part II. Account of the Building of the Walls, notwithstandconspicuous point of view: his memory has always been ing the Obstacles interposed by Sanballat. (ii. 12—20. iij.held in the highest reverence by the Jews, who consider him
vii. 4.) as a second Moses : though not expressly styled a prophet, Part III. The first Reformation accomplished by Nehemiah; he wrote under the influence of the Divine Spirit, and the
containing, canonical authority of his book has never been disputed. He is said to have died in the hundred and twentieth year of
Sect. 1. A register of the persons who had first returned from
Babylon, and an account of the oblations at the temple. his age, and to have been buried at Jerusalem. III. In Justin the Martyr's conference with Trypho the
(vii. 5—72.) Jew, there is a very extraordinary passage respecting the
Sect. 2. Account of the reading of the law, and the celebra
tion of the feast of tabemacles. (viïi.) typical import of the passover, cited by that father: in which Ezra, in a speech made before the celebration of the passover,
Sect. 3. A solemn fast and humiliation kept; and the renewal expounds the mystery of it as clearly relating to Christ ; and of the covenant of the Israelites with Jehovah. (ix. x.) which, Justin concludes, was at a very early day expunged
Sect. 4. List of those who dwelt at Jerusalem, and of other from the Hebrew copies by the Jews, as too manifestly
cities occupied by the Jews that returned; register and sucfavouring the cause of Christianity; The passage may be
cession of the high-priests, chief Levites, and principal thus translated :—“And Ezra said unto the people, This singers. (xi. xii. 1—26.) The completion and dedication of PASSOVER is our Saviour and our Refuge; and if ye shall un- the wall. (xii. 27–47.) derstand and ponder it in your heart, that we are about to hum- Part IV. The Second Reformatim accomplished by Nehemiah ble him in this sign, and afterwards shall believe on him, then on his second return to Jerusalem, and his Correction of the this place shall not be made desolate for ever, saith the Lord of Abuses which had crept in during his Absence. (xiii.) hosts, But if ye will not believe on him, nor hear his preach
In Nehemiah we have the shining character of an able ing, ye shall be a laughing-stock to the Gentiles.”. As this pas- governor, truly zealous for the good of his country and for sage never existed in the Hebrew copies, and is not now to the honour of his religion : who quitted a noble and gainful be found either in them or in any copies of the Septua-post in the greatest court in the world ; generously spent the gint version, it is the opinion of most critics that it originally fiches he had there acquired
for the public benefit of his felcrept into the Greek Bibles from a marginal addition by some low Israelites; and waded through inexpressible difficulties early Christian, rather than that it was expunged from the with a courage and spirit, which alone could, with the divine later copies by the Jews.
blessing, procure the safety and reform the manners of such an unhappy and unthoughtful nation. The administration
of this pious and truly patriotic governor lasted about thirtySECTION IX.
six years, to the year of the world 3574 according to some chronologers, but Dr. Prideaux has with more probability
fixed it to the year 3595. The Scripture history closes with I. Title and author.-II. Argument and synopsis of its con- the book of Nehemiah.
ON THE BOOK OF NEHEMIAH.
ON THE BOOK OF ESTHER.
I. The book of Nehemiah, we have already observed, is in some versions termed the second book of Ezra or Esdras,
SECTION X. from an opinion which anciently obtained, and was adopted by Athanasius, Epiphanius, Chrysostom, and other eminent fathers of the church, that Ézra was the author of this book. In the modern Hebrew Bibles it has the name of Nehemiah I. Title.-II. Author.-III. Argument.-IV. Synopsis of its prefixed to it, which is also retained in our English Bibles.
contents. The author of this book was not the Nehemiah who returned I. This book, which derives its name from the person to Jerusalem from Babylon with Zerubbabel.
whose history it chiefly relates, is by the Jews termed MeThat Nehemiah, whose name this book bears, and who gillah Esther, or the volume of Esther. The history it conwas cup-bearer to Artaxerxes Logimanus, was the author of tains comes in between the sixth and seventh chapters of it, there cannot be any reasonable doubt: the whole of it Ezra : its authenticity was questioned by some of the fathers being written in his name, and, what is very unusual when in consequence of the name of God being omitted throughcompared with the preceding sacred historians, being written out,“ but it has always been received as canonical by the in the first person. The insertion of the greater part of the Jews, who hold this book in the highest estimation, placing register in chap. xii. 1—26. (which is supposed to militate it on the same level with the law of Moses. They believe against this generally received opinion) may be accounted that whatever destruction may attend the other Sacred Writ
1 Justin. Martyr. Dial. cum Tryphone, pp. 292, 293. edit. by Thirlby, or vel ij. p. 196. ed. Oberther. Mr. Whitaker (Origin of Arianism, p. 305.) 9 Prideaux, Connection, sub anno 458, vol. I. p. 296. et seq. 8th edition. advocates its genuineness; and concludes that the passage in question ori. 3 Pyle's Paraphrase on the Old Testament, vol. iv. p. 642. ginally stood in Ezra vi. 19-22., probably between the 20th and 21st verses. . On this account, Professor De Wette, who objects to all the other Dr. Grabe, Dr. Thirlby, and after them Archbp. Magee (Disc. on Alone books of the Old Testament, their theocratico-mythological spiril, conment, vol. I. p. 306. note), doubt its genuineness. Dr. A. Clarke is disposed demns this for its want of religion ! (Prof. Turner's Translation of Jahn, p. to believe it authentic. (Disc. on Eucharist, p. 83.)
289.) Such is the consistency of neologian critice ! VOL. II
ings, the Pentateuch and the book of Esther will always be tract, whoever he was, wished to make a final appeal to the preserved by a special providence.
source whence he derived it. (x. 2.) This very plausible II. Concerning the author of this book, the opinions of conjecture, we apprehend, will satisfactorily answer the obbiblical critics are so greatly divided, that it is difficult to jection that this book contains nothing peculiar to the Israeldetermine by whom it was written. Augustine and some of ites, except Mordecai's genealogy. There is, unquestionably, the fathers of the Christian church ascribe it to Ezra. By no mention made of Divine Providence, or of the name of other writers it is ascribed to the joint labours of the great God, in these memoirs or chronicles of Ahasuerus; and if the synagogue, who, from the time of Ezra to Simon the Just, author of the extract had given it a more Jewish complexion, superintended the edition and canon of Seripture. Philo the --if he had spoken of the God of Israel, -instead of renderJew assigns it to Joachin, the son of Joshua the high-priest, ing his narrative more credible, he would have deprived it who returned with Zerubbabel. Cellerier ascribes it to an of an internal character of truth. 3 unknown author, who was contemporary with the facts III. The transactions recorded in this book relate to the recorded in this book.! Others think it was composed by time of Artaxerxes Longimanus, the same who reigned Mordecai: and others, again, attribute it to Esther and Mor- during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. They commence decai jointly. The two latter conjectures are grounded on about the year of the world 3544, and continue through a the following declaration in Esther ix. 20. 23. Sind Mor- period not exceeding eighteen or twenty years. The book decai wrote these things, and sent lttlers unto all the Jews that of Esther relates the elevation of a Jewish captive to the were in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus ; and the Jews throne of Persia, and the providential deliverance of herself undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had writ- and people from the machinations of the cruel Haman and ten unto them. But the context of the passage clearly shows his associates, whose intended mischief recoiled upon themthat these words do not relate to the book itself, but to the selves: thus affording a practical comment on the declaration circular letters which Mordecai sent to the Jews in all the of the royal sage:-" Though hand join in hand, the wicked provinces of the Persian empire, announcing the mighty de- shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall liverance from their enemies which had been vouchsafed to be delivered." (Prov. xi. 21.) them, and instituting a perpetual anniversary in commemora- IV. The book consists of two parts : detailing, tion of such deliverance. The institution of this festival, Part 1. The Promotion of Esther; and the essential Service and its continued observance to the present time, is a con- rendered to the king by Mordecai, in detecting a Plot against vincing evidence of the reality of the history of Esther, and his Life. (i. ii.) of the genuineness of the book which bears her name: since it is impossible, and, in fact, inconceivable, that a nation Part II. The Advancement of Haman: his Designs against should institute, and afterwards continue to celebrate, through
the Jews, and their Frustration. a long succession of ages, this solemn annual festival, merely Sect. 1. The promotion of Haman, and the occasion of which because a certain man among them had written an agreeable
he availed himself to obtain an edict for massacring the fable or romance.
Jews. (ii.) A more probable opinion (and which will enable us satis- Sect. 2. The consequent affliction of the Jews, and the meafactorily to account for the omission of the name of God in sures pursued by them. (iv.) this book) is, that it is a translated extract from the memoirs Sect. 3. The defeat of Haman's particular plot against the of the reign of the Persian monarch Ahasuerus. The Asiatic life of Mordecai. (v. vi. vii.) sovereigns, it is well known, caused annals of their reigns to Sect. 4. The defeat of his general plot against the Jews. be kept: numerous passages in the books of Kings and (vii. ix. 1-16.) Chronicles prove that the kings of Israel and Judah had such Sect. 5. The institution of the festival of Purim, to commeannals; and the book of Esther itself attests that Ahasuerus morate their deliverance (ix. 17–32.); and the advancement had similar historical records. (ii. 23. vi. 1. X. 2.) It was of Mordecai. (x.) indispensably necessary that the Jews should have a faithful narrative of their history under Queen Esther. Now, verse of the tenth chapter: but in the Greek and Vulgate
In our copies the book of Esther terminates with the third from what more certain source could they derive such history Bibles, there are ten more verses annexed to it, together with than from the memoirs of the king her consort ? Either Ezra, six additional chapters which the Greek and Roman churches or Mordecai, had authority or credit enough to obtain such an
account to be canonical. As, however, they are not exextract. In this case, we can better account for the retaining of the Persian word Purim, as well as for the details which tant in Hebrew, they are expunged from the sacred canon by we read concerning the empire of Ahasuerus, and (which Hellenistic Jew.
Protestants, and are supposed to have been compiled by some could otherwise be of no use whatever for the history of Esther) for the exactness with which the names of his minis
3 Coquerel, Biographie Sacrée, tom. i. pp. 361–363. (Amsterdam, 185.) ters and of Haman's sons are recorded. The circumstance • Chronologers are greatly divided in opinion who was the Ahasuerus of this history being an extract from the Persian annals will of the sacred historian. Scaliger, who has been followed by Jahu, has adalso account for the Jews being mentioned only in the third vanced nany ingenious arguments to show that it was Xerxes who was person, and why Esther is so frequently designated by the lysta spes. The most probable option is that of Dr. Pridraux (Connection, title of queen, and Mordecai by the epíthet of "the Jew.” sub anno 459, vol. 1: pp. 270. et seq.); who, after a very minute discussion, It will also account for those numerous parentheses which | ably to the account of Josephus, (Antiq, Jud. lib. xi. c. 6.) of the Septuainterrupt the narrative in order to subjoin the illustrations sint version, and of the apocryphal additions to the book of Esther. The which were necessary for a Jewish reader; and by the abrupt opinion of Prideaux is adopted by Bishops Tomline and Gray, and the very termination of the narrative by one sentence relative to the accurate chronologer, Dr. Hales. (See Gray's Key, p. 227.
Dr. Hales's Analysis, vol. ij. book i. p. 524. et seq. power of Ahasuerus, and another concerning Mordecai's We may therefore conclude, that the permission given to Nehriniah to re greatness. Finally, it is evident that the author of this ex- build the walls of Jerusalem was owing to the influence of Esther and Mor.
decai, and that the emancipation of the Jews from the Persian yoke was
gradually, though silently, effected by the saine influence. It is not impro. 1 Introduction à la Lecture des Livres Saints (Ancien Testament), p. 320. bable that the pious reason, assigned by Artaxerxes (Ezra vii. 23.) for the For an account of this festival, called the least of Purim, see Vol. II. regulations given to Ezra, originaled in the correct views of religion which Part III. Chap. IV. $ VIII.
were communicated to him by his queen Esther.
ON THE POETICAL BOOKS.
ON THE BOOK OF JOB.
Though some of the Sacred Writings, which present them- thou fixed thy view upon my servant Job, a perfect and up selves to our notice in the present chapter, are anterior in right MAN ?" (i. 8.) instead of aiming at the acquisition of point of date to the Historical Books, yet they are usually news, is intended as a severe and most appropriate sarcasm classed by themselves under the title of the Poetical Books ; upon the fallen spirit. “Hast thou,-who, with superior because they are almost wholly composed in Hebrew verse. faculties and a more comprehensive knowledge of my will, This appellation is of considerable antiquity. Gregory Na-hast not continued perfect and upright,-fixed thy view upon zianzen calls them the Five Metrical Books ; Amphilochius, a subordinate being, far weaker and less informed than thybishop of Iconium, in his iambic poem addressed to Seleucus self, who has continued so?"-" The attendance of the aposenumerates them, and gives them a similar denomination; as tate at the tribunal of the Almighty is plainly designed to also do Epiphanius and Cyril of Jerusalem. The Poetical show us that good and evil angels are equally amenable to Books are five in number, viz. Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ec- him, and equally subject to his authority ;-a doctrine comclesiastes, and the Canticles or Song of Solomon: in the mon to every part of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, Jewish canon of Scripture they are classed among the and, except in the mythology of the Parsees, recognised hy, Hagiographa, or Holy Writings; and in our Bibles they are perhaps, every ancient system of religion whatever. The placed between the Historical and Prophetical Books. part assigned to Satan in the present work is that expressly
assigned to him in the case of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and of our Saviour in the wilderness; and which is
assigned to him generally, in regard to mankind at large, by SECTION I.
all the evangelists and apostles whose writings have reached us, both in their strictest historical narratives, and closest
argumentative inductions. And hence the argument which 1. Title of the book.—II. Reality of Job's person.—III. Age should induce us to regard the present passage as fabulous,
in which he lived.—IV. Scene of the poem of Job.–V. Au- should induce us to regard all the rest in the same light which ther and canonical authority:-VI. Structure of the poem. which would sweep into nothingness a much larger portion
are imbued with the same doctrine:—a view of the subject VII. Argument and scope.- VIII. Spurious addition to this of the Bible than, we are confident, M. Michaelis would book in the Septuagini Version.—IX. Rules for studying choose to part with. this book to advantage.-X. Synopsis.—XI. Idea of the
“ The other arguments are, comparatively, of small mopatriarchal theology, as contained in the book of Job.
We want not fable to tell us that good and upright 1. This book has derived its title from the venerable patriarch men may occasionally become the victims of accumulated Job, whose prosperity, afilictions, and restoration from the calamities; for it is a living fact, which, in the mystery of deepest adversity, are here recorded, together with his exem- | Providence, is perpetually occurring in every country: while plary and unequalled patience under all his calamities. No as to the roundness of the numbers by which the patriarch's book, perhaps, has more exercised the ingenuity of critics possessions are described, nothing could have been more and commentators than this of Job; and though the limits ungraceful or superfluous than for the poet to have descended necessarily assigned to this article prevent us from detailing to units, had even the literal numeration demanded it. And all the various and discordant hypotheses which have been although he is stated to have lived a hundred and forty years offered concerning it, yet a brief retrospect of the principal after his restoration to prosperity, and in an æra in which the opinions that have been entertained respecting this portion of duration of man did not, perhaps, much exceed that of the Scripture can at no time be either uninteresting or unimpor- present day, it should be recollected, that in his person as
well as in his property he was specially gifted by the AlII. Although this book professes to treat of a real person, mighty: that, from various passages, he seems to have been yet the actual existence of the patriarch has been questioned younger than all the interlocutors, except Elihu, and much by many eminent critics, who have endeavoured to prove that younger than one or two of them: that his longevity is parthe whole poem is a mere fictitious narration, intended to ticularly remarked, as though of more than usual extent: and instruct through the medium of parable. This opinion was that, even in the present age of the world, we have well first announced by the celebrated Jewish Rabbi Maimonides, authenticated instances of persons having lived, in different and has since been adopted by Le Clerc, Michaelis, Semler, parts of the globe, to the age of a hundred and fifty, a hunBishop Stock, and others. The reality of Job's existence, dred and sixty, and even a hundred and seventy years.3 on the contrary (independently of its being the uniform be- “ It is not necessary for the historical truth of the book of lief of the Jewish and Christian church), has been maintain- Job, that its language should be a direct transcript of that ed with equal ability by Leusden, Calmet
, Heidegger, Carp- actually employed by the different characters introduced into zov, Van Til, Spanheim, Moldenhawer, Schultens, Ilgen, it; for in such case we should scarcely have a single book Archbishop Magee, Bishops Patrick, Sherlock, Lowth, of real history in the world. The Iliad, the Shah Nameh, Tomline, and Gray, Drs. kennicott and Hales, Messieurs and the Lusiad, must at once drop all pretensions to such a Peters and Good, Drs. Taylor and Priestley, and, in short, description; and even the pages of Sallust and Cæsar, of by almost every other modern commentator and critic. Rollin and Hume, must stand upon very questionable au
The principal arguments commonly urged against the re-thority. It is enough that the real sentiment be given, and ality of Job's existence are derived from the nature of the the general style copied : and this, in truth, is all that is exordium in which Satan appears as the accuser of Job; aimed at, not only in our best reports of parliamentary from the temptations and sufferings permitted by the Al- speeches, but in many instances (which is indeed much mighty Governor of the world to befall an upright character; more to the purpose), by the writers of the New Testament, from the artificial regularity of the numbers by which the in their quotations from the Old.”4 patriarch's possessions are described, as seven thousand, Independently of these considerations, which we think three thousand, one thousand, five hundred, &c.
sufficiently refute the objections adduced against the reality With regard to the first argument, the incredibility of the of Job's existence, we may observe, that there is every posconversation which is related to have taken place between sible evidence that the book, which bears his name, contains the Almighty and Satan," who is supposed to return with a literal history of the temptations and sufferings of a real news from the terrestrial regions,”- '-an able commentator has character. remarked, Why should such a conversation be supposed in- In the first place, that Job was a real, and not a fictitious credible? The attempt at wit in the word news is somewhat out of place; for the interrogation of the Almighty, “ Hast 3 See Pantalogia, art. Life; and Encyclopædia Britannica, art. Lon.
gevily. · Greg. Naz. Carm. 33. v. 16. Op. tom. ii. p. 93. Paris, 1611. Epipha. xvii.zee also Archbishop Magee's Discourses and
Dissertations on the
* Dr. Good's Introductory Dissertation to his version of Job, pp. xv.nius de Pond. et Mens. p. 533. Suicer's Thesaurus, tom. ii. roce o npr. » Moreh Nevochim, part ii. sect. 2.
Atonement, vol. ii. pp. 49-53. Dr. Gregory's translation of Bishop Lowth's