« PreviousContinue »
insects, calls upon both priests and people to repent with prayer and fasting, cries unto God for them, and represents the very beasts as joining in his supplications, (ch. i.); he predicts still greater judgments by an army of locusts, earnestly exhorts them to public fasting, prayer, and repentance, promises the removal of these calamities on their repentance, with various other blessings, makes an elegant transition to the effusion of the Holy Spirit under the Gospel, and foretells the consequent destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation, interspersed with promises of safety to the faithful and penitent, (ch. ii.); he then predicts the divine judgments to be executed on the enemies of God's people, and the subsequent peace, prosperity, and purity of Israel, (ch. iii.) *
The Book of Amos consists of nine chapters, of which Calmet and others think that the seventh is the first in order of time; in which the prophet denounces the judgments of God on Syria, (ch. i. 3—5.), Philistia, (6—8.), Tyre, (9, 10.), Edom, (11, 12.), and Ammon, (13–15.), for their cruelty and oppression of Israel ; upon Moab, for his impotent revenge on the dead body of the king of Edom, (ch. ii. 143.); on Judah for his contempt of God's law, (4,5.); and on Israel, for idolatry, iniquity, and ingratitude, (6-16.); he then expostulates with Israel and Judah, warning them of approaching judgments, (ch. iii. 148.); calls the Philistines and Egyptians to behold the punishment of Samaria and the ten tribes for their sins, (9—15.); reproves the Israelites for luxury and oppression, warning them to prepare to meet God, who is about to execute vengeance upon them, (ch. iv.); laments over the destruction of Israel, exhorting them to renounce their idols and to seek the Lord, (ch. v. 1– 15.); declares the judgments of God on the scornful, presumptuous, and hypocritical Israelites, whom God sentences to captivity, (16—27.); denounces the most terrible calamities on the self-indulgent and self-confident Jews and Israelites, (ch. vi.); averts by prayer the judgments of the grasshopper and fire, (ch. vii. 1—6.), and shews, by a wall and plumb-line, the strict justice of God in Israel's punishment, (7—9.); being accused to Jeroboam by Amaziah the priest, and forbidden to prophesy in Bethel, (10—13.), he shews how God called him to prophesy, and predicts the ruin of Amaziah and his family, (14—17.); under a vision of a basket of summer-fruit, he shews the speedy ruin of Israel, (ch. viii. 143.); reproves their oppression and injustice, (4—7.), shews the complete ruin of Israel, (8—10.),' and threatens a famine of the word of God, (11—14.); he then declares the certainty of the judgments to be inflicted on Israel, (ch. ix. 1—7.), though a remnant shall be preserved, (8—10.); and predicts the blessings of Messiah's kingdom, and the conversion and restoration of Israel, (11—15.) +
The Book of OBADIAH foretells the destruction and ruin of the Idumeans by the Chaldeans, and finally by the Jews, whom they had used most cruelly, when brought low by other enemies; and he concludes, as almost
all the other prophets do, with consolatory promises of restoration and prosperity to the Jews.*
The Book of JONAH, with the exception of the sublime ode in the second chapter, is a simple narrative ; and relates, that Jonah being commanded to go and prophesy against Nineveh, attempts to flee to Tarshish; but being overtaken by a storm, he is cast into the sea, swallowed by a great fish, and continues in its belly three days, (ch. i.); when earnestly praying to God, he is marvellously delivered from his perilous situation, (ch. ii.): at the renewed command of God, he goes to Nineveh, and denounces its destruction; and the Ninevites, excited by the king, believe, fast, pray, and reform themselves, and are graciously spared, (ch. iii.); Jonah, dreading to be thought a false prophet, peevishly repines at the mercy of God, and wishes for death, for which he is gently reproved by God, (ch. iv. 14.): leaving the city, he is shadowed by a gourd, which withers; and manifesting great impatience and rebellion, he is shewn, by his concern about the gourd, the propriety of God's mercy to Nineveh, (5—11.) +
The Book of MICAH consists of seven chapters; in which the prophet denounces the divine judgments against Samaria and Jerusalem for their sins, and laments the terror and distress of the Assyrian invasion under Shalmaneser, (ch. i.); reproves the people for their iniquity, avarice, opposition to the prophets, and attachment to false prophets, and foretells the captivity of both nations, (ch. ii.); reproves the princes for cruelty, and the prophets for falsehood and selfishness, and vindicates his own prophetic mission, (ch. iii.); he then predicts the future triumphant and prosperous state of the church in the latter days, when Zion's troubles should end, and her enemies be destroyed, (ch. iv.); foretells the birth and kingdom of the Messiah, and his powerful protection of his people, the increase, purity, and peace of the church, and the ruin of her enemies, (ch. v.); he next inveighs against the iniquities of the people, and then denounces upon them the divine judgments, (ch. vi.); bewails the decrease of godly men, and the iniquity of the people, yet encourages himself to trust in God; and predicts the victory of God's people over their insulting foes, and their conversion and restoration to their own land, (ch. vii.) :
The Book of Nahum consists of three chapters, forming one entire poem, the conduct and imagery of which are truly admirable. In the exordium, the prophet sets forth with grandeur the justice and power of God, tempered with lenity and goodness, (ch. i. 1—8.); foretells the ruin of the Assyrian king and his army, and the deliverance of the people of God, with their rejoicing on the occasion, (ver. 9—15.); predicts the siege and taking of Nineveh by the Medes and Babylonians, the ruin of the Assyrian empire, the plundering and destruction of the city, and the extinction of the royal family, for their oppression and cruelty, (ch. ii.); denounces a heavy woe against Nineveh for her perfidy, and violence, and idolatries, (ch. ii. 1—7.); shews that the desolation of No-Ammon, in Egypt, may lead her to expect similar destruction, (ver. 8—10.); and predicts her utter and final ruin, and the inefficacy of all methods to prevent it, (ver. 11 -19.) *
+ Idem, Introd. to Jonah.
• Comprehensive Bible, Introd. to Obadiah.
1 Idem, Introd. to Micah.
The Book of HABAKKUK consists of three chapters; in which the prophet indignantly complaining of the growth of iniquity among the Jews, (ch. i. 144.) God is introduced as denouncing his vengeance to be inflicted upon them by the Chaldeans, (ver. 5—11.); then, making a sudden transition, he humbly expostulates with God for punishing them by the instrumentality of the Chaldeans, (ver. 12—17. ch. ii. 1.); in answer to which complaint, God shews the certainty of the vision, and denounces the destruction of the Babylonian empire, with the judgments to be inflicted upon the Chaldeans for their ambition, cruelty, treachery, and idolatry, (ch. ii. 2—20.): the prophet then implores God to hasten the deliverance of his people, recounting the wonderful deliverances which God had vouchsafed to his people, in conducting them through the wilderness,
and giving them possession of the promised land, (ch. iii. 1–15.); and, deeply affected with the approaching judgments, he yet resolves to rejoice in the mercy and goodness of God when all other comforts failed, (ver. 16—19.) +
The Book of ZEPHANIAH consists of three chapters; in which the prophet denounces the wrath of God against Judah and Jerusalem for idolatry and apostacy; predicts terrible judgments coming upon sinners of different descriptions, (ch. i.); exhorts them to repentance, as the only mean to avert the divine vengeance, (ch. ii. 1—3.); prophesies against the Philistines, (ver. 4—7.); Moabites and Ammonites, (ver. 8—11.); Ethiopians, (v. 12.) and Assyrians, (ver. 13—15.); sharply rebukes Jerusalem for various aggravated sins, (ch. iii. 1—7.); and predicts their future restoration, and the ultimate prosperous state of the church in the days of the Messiah, (ver. 8—20.) I
In the Book of Haggai the prophet reproves the delay of the Jews in building the temple, and exhorts them to proceed, (ch. i. 1—11.); they obey the prophet's message, and receive encouragement from God, (ver. 12—15.); the prophet comforts the old men, who wept at the diminished magnificence of the second temple, by assuring them that its glory should be greater than that of the first by the presence of the Messiah, (ch. ii. 1. -9.); he shews that their sins had deprived them of God's blessing, and promises them fruitful harvests from that day forward, (ver. 10–19.); and predicts the prosperity of the Messiah's kingdom, under that of Zerubbabel, his ancestor and type, (ver. 20—23.) $
The book of ZECHARIAH consists of fourteen chapters; in which, after general warnings, and exhortations to repentance, he foretells the completion of the temple, (ch. i.); the rebuilding and prosperity of Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, (ch. ii. 1–5.); the judgments of God upon
* Comprehensive Bible, Introd. to Nahum.
+ Idem, Introd. to Habakkuk.
Babylon, from which he admonishes the Jews to depart previous to its destruction, (ver. 6–9.) promising them the Divine presence, (ver. 10—13.); under the vision of Joshua the high-priest arrayed in new sacerdotal attire, he predicts the restoration of the temple and its service, (ch. ii. 147.); whence, by an easy transition, he sets forth the glory of Christ as the chief corner stone of his church, (ver. 8—10.;) under the vision of the golden candlestick and two olive trees, he represents the success of Zerubbabel and Johua in rebuilding the temple, and restoring its service, (ch. iv.): by the vision of a flying roll and an ephah, he shews the judgments which would come on the wicked Jews, and the abject and oppressed state of the nation, after they had filled up the measure of their sins, (ch. v.); by the vision of four chariots drawn by several sorts of horses, and by two crowns placed on Joshua's bead, he sets forth primarily the re-establishment of the civil and religious polity of the Jews under Zerubbabel and Joshua, and secondarily and principally, the high priesthood and kingdom of Christ, called emphatically the Branch, (ch. vii.); some Jews having been sent to Jerusalem from the exiles at Babylon, to inquire whether they were still bound to observe the fasts instituted on account of the destruction of that city, (ch. vii. 1-3.); the prophet is commanded to enforce upon them the weightier matters of the law, lest the same calamities befall them which were inflicted on their fathers, (ver. 4-14.), promising them, in the event of their obedience, the continuance of the favour of God, (ch. viii. 148.); encouraging them to go on with the building, (ver. 9–17.); and permitting them to discontinue the observance of those fasts, (ver. 18—23.): the prophet then predicts the intermediate events which should happen to the surrounding nations and to the Jews, from the completion of the temple till the coming of Christ, with figurative intimations of the prevalence of the Gospel by the triumphs of his apostles and servants, (ch. ix. x.); foretells the destruction of the temple and the rejection of the Jews for their rejection of Christ, and other sins, (ch. xi.); and predicts the preservation of Jerusalem against an invasion in the latter ages of the world, and the destruction of her enemies, (ch. xii. 1-9.); the conversion of the Jews to their crucified Messiah, (ver. 10—14. ch. xiii.); the destruction of Jerusalem, and the judgments inflicted on the unbelieving Jews; the preservation of a remnant, and their conversion; the ruin of the nations that fought against her; the final conversion of all nations, and the peace and prosperity of the church, (ch. xiv.)*
The Book of Malachi consists of four chapters; in which the prophet reminds the Jews of the special favours which God had bestowed upon them, (ch. i. 145.); reproves them for not shewing due reverence to God, (ver. 6—10.); threatening their rejection, and announcing the calling of the Gentiles, (ver. 11.); denounces the Divine judgments both upon people and priests for their disrespect to God in their sacrifices,
• Comprehensive Bible, Introduction to Zechariah.
(12—14. ch. ii. 1—10.); and for their unlawful intermarriages with idolatresses, and for divorcing their legitimate wives, (ver. 11—17.); foretells the coming of Christ and his harbinger John the Baptist, to purify the sons of Levi, and to smite the land with a curse, unless they all repented; reproving them for withholding their tithes and other oblations, and also for blasphemy; predicting the reward of the good, and the punishment of the wicked, and enjoining the strict observance of the law, till the forerunner already promised should appear, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to introduce the Messiah, and commence and everlasting dispensation, (ch. iii. iv.)*
The Gospel of St. Matthew consists of twenty-eight chapters and 1071 verses ; containing an account of the genealogy and birth of Christ, (ch. i.); the adoration of the Magi, the flight into Egypt, and the slaughter of the infants at Bethlehem, (ch. ii.); the preaching of John the Baptist and baptism of Christ, (ch. iii.); the temptation of Christ, the calling of Peter, Andrew, James, and John, and various miracles which Christ wrought, (ch. iv.); the sermon on the mount, (ch. v.-vii.); various miracles performed by Christ, and the calling of Matthew, (ch. viii. ix.); Christ's charge to the twelve apostles, sent to preach 10 the Jews, (ch. x.); the manner in which the discourses and actions of Christ were received by various descriptions of men, and the effect of his discourses and miracles, (ch. xi.- xvi. 12.); the discourses and actions of Christ immediately concerning his disciples, (ch. xvi. 13.—xx. 16.); the discourses and miracles of Christ in his way to Jerusalem, (ch. xx. 17–34.); his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and his expulsion of the money changers from the temple, (ch. xxi. 1—17.); the withering of the barren fig tree, and the confutation of the chief priests and elders, (ch. xxi.); the parable of the marriage feast, the confutation of the Pharisees and Sadducees, and Christ's lamentation over Jerusalem, (ch. xxii. xxiii.); Christ's prophetic discourse concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, and the end of the world, (ch. xxiv.); the parable of the ten virgins, the talents, and the last judgment, (ch. xxv.); Christ's prediction of his approaching crucifixion, (ch. xxvi. 1, 2.); the conspiracy of the chief priests against him, (ver. 3—5.); his anointing, by a woman at Bethany, (ver. 6—13.); the engagements of Judas to betray him, (ver. 14—16.); the preparation and celebration of the passover, 17—25.); the institution of the Lord's supper, (ver. 26—29.) ; Christ's prediction of the cowardice of his apostles, (ver. 30—35.); his agony in the garden, (ver. 36——46.); his apprehension, (ver. 47–56.): his condemnation and insulting treatment by Caiaphas, (ver. 57—68.); Peter's denial of Christ, and repentance, (ver. 69–75.); his condemnation by Pilate, crucifixion, and burial, (ch. xxvii.); his resurrection and appearances to his disciples, (ch. xxviii.)+
The Gospel of Mark consists of sixteen chapters ; containing count of the ministry of John the Baptist, (ch. i. 1—8.); the baptism and