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A.C. 428 to 409.

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17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day?

18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.

19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath : and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.

20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.

21 Then I testified against them, and said unto them, in het before Why lodge ye * about the wall ? if ye do so again, I will lay

hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on
the sabbath.

22 And I commanded the Levites that they should
cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the
gates, to sanctify the sabbath day. Remember me, O my
God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the
+ greatness of thy mercy.

23 I In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:

24 And their children spake half in the speech of AshHeb. they, dod, and g could not speak in the Jews' language, but ac

termeo || Heb. of pro

cording to the language || of each people.

25 And I contended with them, and * cursed them, and
por
, reviled smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made

them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daugd-
ters unto their sons, por take their daughters unto your sons,
or for yourselves.

26 "Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things
yet among many nations was there no king like him, who
was beloved of his God, and God made him king over

all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause

27 Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?

28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.

29 Remember them, O my God, + because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood

, and of the Levites.

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+ Heb. for the defilings.

A.C. 428 to 409.

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30 Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and

appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business;

31 And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and
for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.

SECTION VIII.
Final Prophecy of the Old Testament.

MALACHI III. Ver. 16, TO THE END. 16 , Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to About 400. another : and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my * jewels; and I will spare treasures them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

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MALACHI IV.
1 God's judgment on the wicked, 2 and his blessing on the good. 4 He exhorteth

to the study of the law, 5 and telleth of Elijah's coming and office.
1 For, behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an
oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly,
shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them
up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither
root nor branch 41.

" The apparent connexion of this verse with the two last of the preceding chapter have induced me to make this division. The description contained in these verses seems to have a primary reference to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, A. D. 70, by which is prefigured the last general judgment of mankind, when the Lord will finally distinguish between the righteous and the wicked; when the mysteries of His providence will be clearly unfolded, and His ways be justified to man. The expression, “Behold the day cometh," is, in its secondary application, equally applicable both to Jews and Christians. We know how truly these predictions have been verified in their primary signification; and we therefore cannot doubt but their further accomplishment will be as literally fulfilled. But amidst all these “terrors of the Lord," the prophet is permitted to give an assurance of approaching salvation to those who trust in God. “The Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings,” to give light to those that sit in the shadow of death, and to heal the transgressions of his people. What the sun is to the natural world, Christ is to the spiritual world, “In him we live, move, and have our being." He is "the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world." The promises of temporal deliverance, in ver. 2, and chap. iii. 17, 18, were wonderfully made good in the

A.C. About

400.

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t Ex. XX, 3.

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2 4 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of

righteousness arise, with healing in his wings; and ye shall 8 Luke i. 78. go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.

4. Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

5 q Behold, I will send you "Elijah the prophet before Luke i. 17. the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

1

u Matt. xi. 14. Mark ix. 11.

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Detached Genealogies, Successions, and Events, inserted proba

bly at the Completion of the Canon 64

1 CHRONICLES J.

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| Adam's line to Noah. 5 The sons of Japheth. 8 The sons of Ham. 17 TM
Sons of Shem.

24 Shem's line to Abraham. 29 Ishmael's sons. 32 The sasi
of Keturah. 34 The posterity of Abraham by Esau. 43 The kings ef Eden

51 The dukes of Edom. About 300. 1 Adam, Sheth, Enosh, * Gen. v. 3, s.

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preservation of the Christians; who, trusting in the providence and promises of
God, fled into the mountains, and thereby escaped the general destruction of the
Jewish nation,

As the spirit of prophecy was now to cease, the Messiah having been clearly
and progressively made known to the Jews, by a long succession of prophet
and in prophecies more and more distinct : Malachi át last concludes his misest,
by enjoining a strict observance of the law of Moses, till Elijah the messenger of
the Lord should appear, to turn the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of
the just. Thus Malachi (as Dr. Gray observes,) sealed up the volume of pro-
phecy, in a description of that personage, with an account of wham the Era"
gelists begin their Gospel history; who was appointed to prepare the way for the
establishment of a new and a better dispensation, and he who terminated the
illustrious succession of the prophets, and predicted the coming of the Baptist
received the testimony of our Saviour, who defined the period and extent of pro
phecy, by declaring (Matt. xi. 13,) that “all the prophets prophesied until
John."

42 These chapters of Chronicles are placed last in this arrangement, as they contain many allusions to the events of the captivity, and the later events of the Jewish history. In chap. iii. the genealogy of the family of Zerobabel is cara ried down to the time of Alexander the Great, or even later ; that is, nearis en the period when Simon the Just finally completed, as the last of the great tyndo

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2 Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered,
3 Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech,

A.C. About

300.

1

gogue, the canon of the Old Testament. These genealogical tables, therefore, were written after the time of Ezra, and were probably prefixed by Simon the Just to the book of Chronicles, as an appropriate introduction. The other chapters of Chronicles are inserted in their respective places in the arrangement.

Lightfoot has endeavoured to insert in the several parts of his Chronicles, various passages from these first chapters : he has however placed them again by themselves towards the conclusion of his work, and confesses that it is almost impossible to harmonize the contents with the rest of Scripture, on account of the manner in which the incidents noticed in these tables are interwoven with the context. I have followed therefore his plan, and after many attempts to insert particular passages in the preceding arrangement, have referred the whole nine first chapters to the time when they were not improbably prefixed to the remainder of the first book of Chronicles.

The Jews comprise the two books of Chronicles in one book, which they call Dibre Hajamim, that is, The words of Days, probably from the circumstance of their being compiled out of diaries or annals, in which were recorded the various events related in these books. In the Septuagint version they are termed Capapipouleva, (paralipomena,) or Things omitted; because many things which were omitted in the former part of the sacred history are here not only supplied, but some narrations also are enlarged, while others are added. The appellation of Chronicles was given to these books by Jerome, because they contain an abstract, in order of time, of the whole of the sacred history, to the time when they were witten.

Concerning the author of these books nothing certain is known, Some think they are the works of different authors ; but the uniformity of the style, the connexion of the facts, together with the recapitulations and reflections which are often made; prove that they are the work of one and the same person. The Jewish and Christian interpreters, in general believe they were the work of Ezra, assisted by the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. That Ezra was the author, is, on the whole, the most probable opinion. There are words and terms, both in Chronicles and Ezra, which are similar; and prove that each was written after the captivity, and probably by the same person; as those terms were not in use previously to that time; and some are peculiar to Ezra himself. We have ane 7752 “ golden cups,” Ezra i. 10; viii. 27 ; and in 1 Chron. xxviii. 17. And 119347, 1 Chron. xxix. 7, and Ezra ii. 69; Nehemiah vii. 70. And 017099 “rafts" or floats, 2 Chron. ii. 16; widely differing from 1937, 1 Kings v. 9; which we there translate in the same way. Calmet considers these words as strong evidence that these books were the work of Ezra, and penned after the captivity. It is most certain that the books of Chronicles are not the original records or memorials of the transactions of the sovereigns of Israel and Judah, which are so often referred to in the historical books of the Old Testament. Those ancient registers were much more copious than the books of Chronicles, and have been long lost.

These books, therefore, can only have been compiled from others written at different times, some before, and others after the Babylonish captivity. The ancient Jews took the greatest care to register their civil, military, and ecclesi.

A.C. About

300.

4 Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

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astical transactions; and the prophets appear to have been employed for this
purpose, by the several kings under whose reigns they lived. Samuel

, Natha,
and Gad, wrote under the reign of David. (1 Chron. xxix. 29.) Nathan, As-
jah, and Iddo, under Solomon. (2 Chron. ix. 29.) Shemaiah and Iddo under
Rehoboam. (2 Chron. xi. 15.) Isaiah recorded the transactions of Uzziah and
of Hezekiah. (2 Chron. xxvi. 22, and 2 Chron. xxxi. 32.) Jeremiah wote
the history of Josiah and his descendants, the last kings of Judah; and many
more instances might be mentioned. Besides the prophets, we find other part
sons likewise employed in this office, who were denominated recorders. 18 Sam.
viii. 16, 2 Kings xviii. 18. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 8.)

The principal object of the author of this book appears to have been to paint out from the public records, still preserved, the state of the different families before the captivity ; that at their return they might again possess their respective inheritances. He enters particularly into the duties, genealogies

, familien and orders of the priests and Levites, that they might more easily assume their proper functions ; and that the worship of God might be conducted the same as before, by the ordained and legitimate persons. These books may be considered as an epitome of all the sacred history, but more especially from the origin ef the Jewish nation to their return from the first captivity. The first book traces the rise and propagation of the people of Israel from Adam, and afterwards gives a circumstantial account of the reign and transactions of David. In the second book the narrative is continued, and relates the progress and dissolution of the kingdom of Judal, to the very year of the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity: as very little notice is taken of the kings of Israel, it is par improbable that this book was chiefly extracted from the records of the kingdom of Judah. The period of time embraced in the books of Chronicles is about 3468 years: they may be commodiously divided into four parts

, viz. 1. The genealogies of those persons through whom the Messiah was to descend, from Adam to the captivity, and to the time of Ezra ;-2. The histories of Sual and David ;—3. The history of the united kingdoms of Israel and Judah under Solomon; and, 4. The history of the kingdom of Judah after the secession of the ten tribes from Rehoboam to its utter subversion by Nebuchadnezzar.

It will be necessary to remember, that the terms "father," "son," " begat," and "begotten," which so frequently occur in these Hebrew genealogies

, do no always denote an immediate son or descendant; but extend to any distant progenitor. Thus, in Gen. xxix. 5, Laban is called the son of Nahor, though in fact he was only his grandson ; and similar instances are often to be found in the Scrip tures. The extensive genealogical tables contained in the book of Chronicles, are a signal testimony to the origin and preservation of the Jewish Church anesten mankind; and of the fulfilment of the divine promises to Abraham, that his seed should be multipled as the sand upon the sea-shore. (Gen. xxij. 17.) They are also of very great importance, as exhibiting "the detail of the sacred lite, through which the promise of the Messiah was transmitted :" so that when in the fulness of time this promised mediator was revealed in the flesh, the church and people of God might infallibly know that this was that very promised seed of the woman, the son of Abraham, and the son of David. - Dr. Adam Clarke in his preface to Chronicles; and Horne's Crit. Introd, in loc.

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