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the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion
mand would be disobeyed; but that the people might be left without excuse, he pointedly alluded to the breach of it as one of those offences which he would remedy by absolute force, if reiterated remonstrances and all other measures should fail ; for shortly afterwards he orders Moses to declare to them, “ I will bring the land into desolation, and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land ; even then shall the land rest and enjoy her sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest, because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when you dwelt upon it. The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths while she lieth desolate without them. Lev. xxvi. 34, 35. 43.”
It is worthy of remark that the duration of the captivity was regulated and determined expressly with reference to the fulfilment of this denunciation. It was to endure seventy years, Jer. xxix. 10.; it did endure seventy years, Dan. ix. 2.; and the reason for that particular period is expressly stated, “ To fulfil the word of Jehovah by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths ; for as long us she tay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil three score and ten years." 2 Chron. xxxvi. 21. With such an illustrious scheme and fulfilment of prophecy before him, how ought the infidel to hide his head! And how ought the sabbath breaker of every kind, and the violater of the laws of a holy God, to tremble at his wrath!
The learned Dean Prideaux thus ingeniously illustrates the subject still further. The Jews arrived in Judea in March and April, Anno 535 before Christ. As soon as they came thither they dispersed themselves according to their tribes, and betook themselves to rebuild their houses, and again manure their lands, after they (that is, the lands) had now, from the destruction of Jerusalem and the fight of the remainder of the people into Egypt, on the death of Gedaliah, lain desolate and uncultivated fisty-two years, according to the number of the sabbatical years which they bad neglected to observe ; for according to the Mosaical law they ought to l'are left their lands fallow every seventh year. But amongst other commandments of God, this also they had rejected, and, therefore, God made the land lie desolate, without inhabitants or cultivation, till it had enjoyed the full number of its sabbaths that it bad been deprived
upon young man or maiden, old man, or bim that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. *
The daughter of Sion being thus abandoned to the fury of her enemies, the conqueror sent Nebuzaradan, the captain of his guard, to execute the judgments of God; and he burntt the temple and the palace, and all the houses in Jerusalem with fire;# and brake down all the walls of the city, and carried away to Babylon all the precious ornamentsg
of. Prid. i. 179. See also Gray's Key, 109., and Keith's Evidence from Prophecy, p. 121., where that learned writer shews the present desolation and sterility of the land of Palestine, to be a continuous fulfilment of the prophecy, and punishment for the breach of the command; but which invaluable work the editor had not seen when he wrote the preceding note.
* 2 Chron. xxxvi. 12–17. “Not because God approved him, who yet was the minister of his justice, but because God would by his just judgment punish this people; for Nebuchadnezzar was led by ambition and vain-glory, whereunto were joined fury and cruelty. Therefore, his work was condemnable, notwithstanding it was just and holy on God's part, who used this wicked instrument to declare his justice." BARBER. Napoleon Buonaparte was another instrument used by the Almighty to accomplish his own purposes; and when the work, which God had appointed him to do, was accomplished, as he had done in the case of Nebuchadnezzar, he discarded the wicked instrument. The Babylonian was driven out amongst the beasts of the field, and the Corsican chained to a barren rock. The heart of the former, we may hope, was penetrated by repentance and contrition, (Dan. iv. 31.); but the latter died as he lived, most probably, without God in the world." + The fire must have continued raging three whole days. Compare
2 Kings, xxv. 8. with Jer. lii. 12. BARRER. " In the first year of the 48th Olympiad, 42+ years after the erection by Solomon, and 595 years before Christ. A. CLARKE.
§ It appears very remarkable, and perhaps a circunstance which has not been noticed by even some careful readers of the Old Testament, that no mention is any where made what eventually became of the ark of the covenant and the cherubims thereon; that holy symbol of Jehovah wbereiu were deposited the tables of the law, and
and furniture of the temple. He also carried away captive all the remnant of the people, except a small number
whatever was most holy and sacred; the custody of which was entrusted to the priests alone-before which the waters of Jordan were cut off-before which Joshua fell on his face to the earth-before which the idol of Dagon miraculously fell to pieces-for looking into which 50,070 men of Beth-shemesh were smitten to death for merely touching which, though to save it from falling, Uzzah was slain—that was left 25 years at Kirjath-jearim chiefly througb apprehension--we say it is remarkable that what became of it is no where mentioned. That it never was in the second temple we know, because it was one of those six glories or excellencies, the absence of which the few pious Jews, who had seen the first temple, so deeply deplored at the consecration of the second. Ezra, iii. 12. Prid. i. 185.
The Samaritans bad a tradition, that in the days of Uzzi or Ozzi, the high priest, (1 Chron. vi. 6.) the ark and the other sacred vessels were, by God's command, laid up or hidden in mount Gerizim.Joseph. iij. 65. Whereas the Jewish Rabbins are by no means agreed what became of it. The author of the second book of Maccabees tells the following tale:-It is also found in the records, that Jeremy, the prophet, commanded them that were carried away to take off the fire, as it hath been signified; and how that the prophet, having given them the law, charged them not to forget the commandinents of the Lord, and that they should not err in their minds, when they see images of silver and gold, with their ornaments. And with other such speeches exhorted he them, that the law should not depart from their hearts. It was also contained in the saine writing, that the prophet, being warned of God, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go with him, as he went forth into the mountain where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of God. And when Jeremy came thither he found an hollow care, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door. And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but they could not find it. Which when Jeremy perceived, he blamed them, saying; As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather his people again together, and receive them unto mercy. Then shall the Lord shew' them these things, and the glory of the Lord shall appear, and the cloud also, as it was shewed under Moses, and as when Solomon also desired that the place might be honous
of the poor, whom he left to be vine dressers and husbandmen.
Nebuzaradan also took Seraiah, the chief priest, and Zephaniah, the second priest, and several of the officers, and brought them to Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah, where he lay with his army, and he slew them all there.t As for the small ably sanctified.—2 Maccabees, i. 8. Other Rabbins allege that Josiah caused the ark to be placed in a vault under grouod, which Solomon, foreseeing the destruction of the temple, had built for the express purpose of preserving it. The most probable conjecture may be that it was destroyed when the first tensple was burned by Nebuchadnezzar, above related, as well as the other four glories or excellencies, no one of which ever graced the second temple ; (Prid. i. 192.) but the glory of which still exceeded, beyond all measure, that of the former by the immediate presence of the Lord of Glory himself, who was the great Antitype of the whole, and perhaps even of the temple itself. Who is left amongst you that saw this house in her first glory? And how do ye see it now? Is it not in your eyes, in comparison of it, as nothing? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the Lord ; and be strong, O Josiah, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord and work, (for I am with you saith the Lord of Hosts). According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit reinaineth among you, fear ye not. For thus saith the Lord of Hosts, Yet once it is a little while and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, saith Jehovah of Hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith Jehovah of Hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former; saith Jehovah of Hosts ; and in this place will I give peace, saith Jehovah of Hosts. Haggai, ii. 3. 9. Dr. Gill on the Messiah, pp. 41. 50. See Whisľon, vol. i. 215., where that author gives a curious extract from a supposed epistle, from the Jews at Jerusalem to the Jews of Egypt, in the days of Jonathan, the high priest. But see the prophecy of Jer. iii. 16, 17. and Burder, 0. L. 615. * 2 Kings, xxv. 8–17. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 18—20. Jer. xxxix. 8-10.
lii. 12. 23.
remnant of the people who were left, Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah to be their ruler.*
By the express command of his sovereign, however, Nebuzaradan having taken the holy prophet amongst the other captives as far as Ramah, said unto him, Jehovah, thy God, hath pronounced this evil upon this place. Now Jehovah hath brought it, and done according as he bath said: because ye have sinned against Jehovah, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore, this thing is come upon you. And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which were upon thine hand.
If it seem good unto thee to come with me into Babylon, come; and I will look well unto thee: but if it seem ill urto thee to come with me into Babylon, forbear : behold, all the land is before thee: whither it seemeth good and convenient for thee to go, thither go.
Now while he was not yet gone back, he said, Go back also to Gedaliah, the son of Abikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon bath made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people: or go wheresoever it seemeth convenient unto thee to go. So the captain of the guard gave him victuals and a reward, and let him go. Upon which Jeremiah went to Gedaliah at Mizpah, and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land.+
As soon as it was known that Gedaliah was entrusted with the government of the remnant of the Jews, several of the officers and princes, who had fled from the city, resorted to him, and amongst others, Ishmael, Johanan, Jonathan, Serajab, and Jaazaniah, with their men, to whom Gedaliah sware; “fear not to serve the Chaldeans: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you. As for me, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah, to serve