Page images
PDF
EPUB

Agreeably to these Prophecies therefore, Ezrai. i. Cyrus, the first Year after his Conquest of Babylon, was sirred up by the spirit of the L o R D to make a Proclamation throughout all his dominions, and also to put it in writing-, which runs thus: thus faith Cyrus King of Persia, &c. The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is there among you rof all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, &c.

There return'd therefore, under the Conduct of Zerubbabel, forty and two

ib. H. 64. thousand three hundred and threescore; besides Servants and other; Attendants amounting to above seven Thousand more: who, in a very short Time after, built the Altar of the God of Israel, and offer'd Burnt-Offerings thereon, Morning and Evening, under the Administration of Jeshua the High-Priest. And, in the

ib. iU. 8. ficond year after their coming, they began the Foundation of .the second Temple; pic j with much solemn Joy and Exultation; after the Ordinance of David King of Israel.

But, according to a Design so far more of Solomon's, that many of the Priejls and Ezra iii. Levites and chief of the fathers, who were 12' ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house, was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice. And the Prophet Haggai, at the fame Time that he excites them to the Building, asks, Who is left a- Haggai ii. tnong you that saw this house in her' first glory? and how do ye fee it now? is it not in your eyes, in comparison of it, as nothing t And yet, in consideration that the second Temple was to be honour'd with the Presence of the Messiah, the same Prophet, presently after, writes thus, The glory of this latter house shall be great' er than of the former, faith the Lord of hosts.

Whether the Delineation of the Temple Ezekiel saw in a Vision, in the 25th Ezek. xl Year of the Captivity, were a Copy aster the first, or a Model for the second, or intended to typify something different

I 2 from

[ocr errors]

from both, is not any where determin'd. Tho* some Jews have pretended the latter Temple was built after Ezekiel's Plan.

After having been six and forty Years in building, thro' the frequent Interruptions caus'd by the Samaritans, it was finisti'd, as before obscrv'd, in the sixth Year of the Reign of Darius, King of Terfia: And remain'd the fame, except the Pollutions and Indignities with which the Inside of it was violated by Antiochus Epiphanes King of Syria, to our Saviour's Time. For I think no Credit is to be given to the Report Josephus makes; of hs having been rebuilt frem the .very Foundations, and enlarg'd by Herod, in the Time of Augustus: of which we have not the least Hint in the Gospel, where Mention is so often made of the Temple; and where it is exprefly said to have been/for

John ii. and forty years in building. It is probable therefore that Herod OhIy ' repair'd and

Hcgcsip- beautified it; as another Author of good

Credit affirms. However, when our Lord

Matt was crucmcd> the veil of it, that which par

xxvu.51. ted off the Holy of Holies from the rest,

was

vat rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

Afterwards the Emperor Caligula ordered an Image of himself to be set up in it, and divine Honours to be paid to it: which we may look upon as a just Judgment upon the Jews, when they disown'd our Lor D, and said they had no King but Cæsar.

SECT. XII.

T'he Second Temple finally destroy'd.

It was not long after, together with the City, burnt by Titus-, and the very Foundations of it utterly demolisti'd by Adrian: who is said to have caus'd a Temple to be erected in the fame Place, to the heathen Goddess Venus. The first of which Things verified that Prediction of our Saviour, when he was viewing the Buildings of the Temple; There /hall not Matt. be left here one stone upon another that X^Y- '• stall not be thrown down: and the latter ib. 15,' might probably be the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the Prophet.

I 3 SECT,

SECT. XIII.

Temples in Samaria and Egypt.

There was a Temple likewise built by Sanballat upon Mount Geriztm, for the Use of the Samaritans; who pretended (upon the Return of the Jews from their Captivity) that they were of the Stock of the true ancient Hebrews, and that their Mountain was the most proper Place of Worship: upon which Principle the Samaritan Woman in the Gospel, argues with Christ: but that was destroy'd by Hyrcanus, as Jofephus testifies.

The fame Author mentions another Temple the Jews had built in Egypt, when they were persecuted by Antiochus: and that it was destroy'd much about the fame Time with that at Jerusalem. In 'l' the Apocrypha indeed, there is a Letter from the Jews at Jerusalem to those in Egypt.

SECT. XIV.
Synagogues.

So much for the Temple. They had other Places of Worship mention'd in

Scripture

« PreviousContinue »