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A.C. 572.

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18 Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus : every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled :

yet

had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus, for the service that he had served against it :

19 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will

give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadrezzar king of Baby* Heb. spoil lon; and he shall take her multitude, and * take her spoil, prey her prey, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages

20 I have given him the land of Egypt + for his labour wherewith he served against it, because they wrought for me, saith the Lord God.

21 f In that day will I cause the horn of the house of
Israel to bud forth 39, and I will give thee the opening of the
mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I
am the LORD.

EZEKIEL XXX. Ver.1-20.
1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord
God; Howl ye, Woe worth the day!

3 For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.

4 And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great Or, fear. I pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in

Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her

foundations shall be broken down. Heb. Phut, 5 Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled i Hesa, chile people, and Chub, and the men of the land that is in league

, shall fall with them by the sword.

6 Thus saith the LORD; They also that uphold Egypt shall fall ; and the pride of her power shall come down: * from the tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord God.

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* Or, from Migdol to Syene.

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of kings and princes as instruments of his will (ch. xxix. ver. 20,) and the hu-
man ambition, the violence and worldly power of man, are all overruled to the
accomplishment of his prophecies, and the fulfilment of his decrees. “My
counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.

39 The expression, “In that day will I cause the born of the house of Israel
to bud forth," appears to have a primary allusion to the promotion and distinc-
tion of the prophet Daniel at Babylon. When Nebuchadnezzar returned home
after his Egyptian and other conquests, Daniel interpreted the king's dream; by
which means he obtained the favour of the sovereign, both for himself and his
countrymen : and to this circumstance may be attributed the high estimation in
which the Jews were held in the place of their captivity, and that series of events
which terminated in their restoration by Cyrus.

7 And they shall be desolate in the midst of the countries A.C. 572. that are desolate, and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are wasted.

8 And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have set a fire in Egypt, and when all her helpers shall be * de- * Heh, broken. stroyed.

9 In that day shall messengers go forth from me in ships to make the careless Ethiopians afraid, and great pain shall come upon them, as in the day of Egypt: for, lo, it cometh.

10 Thus saith the Lord God; I will also make the multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon.

11 He and his people with him, the terrible of the nations, shall be brought to destroy the land : and they shall draw their swords against Egypt, and fill the land with the slain. 12 And I will make the rivers + dry, and sell the land + Heb.

drought. into the hand of the wicked: and I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers: I Heb. The the Lord have spoken it.

13 Thus saith the Lord God; I will also destroy the r Zech, xii. 2. idols, and I will cause their images to cease out of Noph ; and there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt: and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt.

14 And I will make Pathros desolate, and will set fire in $ Zoan, and will execute judgments in No.

{ Or, Tanis. 15 And I will pour my fury upon || Sin, the strength of Or, PeluEgypt; and I will cut off the multitude of No.

16 And I will set fire in Egypt: Sin shall have great pain, and No shall be rent asunder, and Noph shall have distresses daily.

17 The young men of * Aven and of + Pi-beseth shall * Or. He'io. fall by the sword : and these cities shall go into captivity. Or, Pudas

18 At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be # darkened, 10r, restrain. when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her : as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.

19 Thus will I execute judgments in Egypt: and they shall know that I am the LORD 40.

fulness there. of.

sium.

ed,

* With this prediction against Egypt, the prophecies of Ezekiel, according to the present arrangement, are concluded. Ezekiel was at this time in captivity at Babylon, and is supposed, by Selden, to have conversed in that country with Pythagoras. The dispersion of the Jews, in their several captivities, conferred many benefits on mankind; among which may be mentioned, its effects on the progress of philosophy and literature in Greece. As this is a subject which has

SECTION IX.

Daniel relates to Nebuchadnezzar the Dream the King had

forgotten.

DANIEL II.
1 Nebuchadnezzar, forgetting his dream, requireth it of the Chaldeans, by pro-

mises and threatenings. 10 They acknowledging their inability are judged to
die. 14 Daniel obtaining some respite findeth the dream. 19 He blesseth
God. 24 He staying the decree is brought to the king. 31 The dream, 36
The interpretation. 46 Daniel's advancement.
1 And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchad-

A.C. 570.

not frequently been discussed, I have considered it in the following note; as another proof of the wonderful superintendence of an allwise Providence over the affairs of men.

The communication between Egypt and Judea was uniform and constant. Even in the wilderness, the people murmured to return to that country; and, after the establishment of the Jews in the Holy Land, although prohibited by the Mosaic law, we find an intercourse still prevailed between the two nations Solomon, the wisest of their kings, married the daughter of Pharaoh, and in future reigns Egyptians were admitted into Judea to contribute to its defence. In the time of Pharaoh Necho, however, we find that Josiah king of Israel “ went out against" the king of Egypt, (2 Chron. xxxv. 20. and xxxvi. 4.), and that his son Jehoahaz, with other Jews, were taken with him prisoner into Egypt. The circumstances of his captivity were depictured on the walls of the chief temples in Egypt, as has been singularly discovered by the enterprising and ingenious traveller Belzoni. In war, the Jews were carried captive into this country; in peace they courted its alliance; and in time of danger fled to it for refuge. After the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews compelled Jeremiah to accompany them into Egypt, where they shared the fate of the natives, during the terrible destruction of that country by the army of Nebuchadnezzar, in 572.

From this intimate alliance between the two nations, it is evident, that all those strangers who might have sojourned in Egypt, either for the purposes of commerce, or the acquisition of knowledge, must have been made acquainted with the Jews, whose history was so closely interwoven with that of the Egyptians. In the same manner, all those who travelled into Babylon during this period of the ruin of Egypt, and the captivity of the Jews, would there meet also the Jewish nation ; whose peculiar history must have excited interest, and whose laws, customs, opinions, and writings, must bave been generally known.

The Greeks from the earliest periods appear to have held constant communication with Egypt. Many of the Grecian tribes were of Egyptian origin. The Egyptians were celebrated for their wisdom : and it is “ generally acknowledged (Warburton's Divine Legation, vol. ii. p. 105.) by the Greeks themselves, that all their learning and wisdom came from Egypt; and the Greeks are unanimous in this assertion. The first who went out of Greece to learn Egyptian wisdom, were the legislators; or such, as projecting to reduce the scattered tribes, which then overran Greece, into civil society, travelled thither to learn the art of law

nezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his A.C. 570. spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.

giving, from a nation the most celebrated for that knowledge. Of these were Orpheus, Rhadamanthus, Minos, Lycaon, Triptolemus, and others.

The next who went to Greece for instruction, (though the intercourse of the lawgivers with Egypt was not interrupted, but continued down to the times of Draco, Lycurgus, and Solon), were the naturalists, who through their whole course bore the name of Sophists. For now Greece being advanced from a savage and barbarous state to one of civil polity, the inhabitants, in consequence of the cultivation of the arts of life, began to refine and speculate. The last sort of people who went to Egypt for instruction, were the philosophers, properly so called ; a character exactly compounded of the two preceding, the lawgiver and the naturalist. For when now, after various struggles and revolutions, the Grecian states had asserted or regained their liberties, morals, public and private, would become the subject most in fashion." Thus far Bishop Warburton; and Gale, Stillingfleet, Cudworth, and others, have amply shewn that there was a constant communication between Greece and Egypt. Knowledge of every kind was derived by the former from the latter, and all that was known in Egypt was gradually transferred to Greece.

In this state of things it is natural to conclude, that the Greeks must have been intimately acquainted with the history and polity of the Jewish people. We shall now, therefore, consider the effects of this knowledge on the literature and character of the Greeks.

From the period of the dispersion of the Jews among the Egyptians and the Babylonians, we find that the Greeks began to have more exalted and refined ideas of a Deity; and that they applied themselves more particularly to that philosophy and literature, which contributed so eminently to raise them to the highest intellectual rank among ancient or modern nations.

All the sects and schools of philosophy, in ancient Greece, originated from the Ionic and the Italic sects. The lonic sect was founded by Thales, the Italic by Pythagoras. Thales was born about the year 640: and is remarkable, as being the first Grecian who taught a regular system of philosophy, and left a succession of disciples to establish and maintain it. He travelled into Egypt while he was a young man, and resided there several years. If he went into that country when at the age of twenty, or twenty-five, and resided there ten or more years, (and this period was not beyond that which was usually passed by the students of the Egyptian learning), he would have been in Egypt when Jehoahaz, king of Judah, was brought there as a prisoner by Pharaoh Necho. The attention of the curious Greek must naturally have been attracted by the various captive strangers thus introduced into Egypt; and while he improved himself in those sciences in which the Egyptians excelled, it is highly probable (and a high degree of probability is all that can be obtained, in the attempt to ascertain the events of these remote periods) that from conversing with these Jewish captives, he acquired some of those great and truly philosophical notions, which he afterwards taught at his native Miletus, and in Greece.

The chief of these opinions were, that the world was not eternal, but was made by God the Spirit out of water ; an opinion which seems to be derived from the Mosaic and Christian doctrine, “ The Spirit of God moved on the face

A.C. 570.

2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to

of the waters." That the world, being God's workmanship, was exceedingly good or perfect. That the universe was filled with invisible spirits, who inspect the actions of men. Thales was the first of the Greeks who made any philosophic enquiries into the nature and perfections of God; for though, as Gale remarks, Orpheus, Linus, Homer, and Hesiod, had some traditions of God, their value was obscured by a mixture with pagan fables. Thales, however, delivered his knowledge concerning God, in a more plain and simple manner. He first maintained among the Greeks, that God was the most ancient of beings; that his Providence governs the world ; and explained to them the wonderful phenomena of nature. These excellent opinions and information appear to have been till now unknown to the Greeks; and are evidently derived from purer sources than from invented traditions or speculative pagan philosophy. From the Jews alone, therefore, with whoin Thales became acquainted in Egypt, could he have received those ideas of God, and his providence, which shine as a meteor through the dark mist of the ignorance and blindness of that superstitious age.

Thales was succeeded by Anaximander, Anaximenes, and Anaxagoras, the friend and tutor of Pericles; by Diogenes Apolloniates, and by Archelaus, the instructor of Socrates. The various sects, which are referred to the Ionic school, are the Socratic, founded by Socrates, among whose disciples and followers are Xenophon, Plato, Euclid, and Alcibiades. The Cyrenaic sect, founded by Aristippus. The Megaric, established by Euclid of Megara. The Eretriac, or Eliac school, instituted by Phædo, of Elis. The Academic sect, founded by Plato, whose school, after his death, was divided into the old, middle, and new academies. The Peripatetic, founded by Aristotle. The Cynic, by Antisthenes. The Stoic, by Zeno. These sects continued till the time of Christ; and when St. Paul visited Athens, he found the Greeks still engaged in disputes and enquiries into the mysteries and difficulties of philosophy. Although the purest and most refined speculations, of the best and most celebrated of these philosophers, fall far short of the principles and morality inculcated by the Christian dispensation, they still served to advance the progress of Christianity; or rather, they tended to diminish the superstitious reverence paid to the pagan deities. The commonest of the people became at last sensible that their philosophers only adhered to the religious ceremonies of the established superstition, from mere compliance with popular custom ; and all the reflecting part of the community were divided, in a state of doubt and uncertainty : Socrates, in particular, declared, that a teacher from heaven was necessary to impart instruction to mankind.

Moral philosophy may be considered as a light to the dark and ignorant age in which it flourished : but when compared with Christianity, it is little less than the very darkness it so partially illuminated. Philosophy, at the height of its splendour, displayed only the corruption, the folly, and the degradation of the human mind when deprived of revelation. It was like a taper in a channel house at midnight which disperses the darkness of the tomb, and shews to the sickening spectator how melancholy is the sight of humanity, when bereaved of life and spirit.

Though the accounts of Pythagoras are mingled with fable, there is abundant

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