« PreviousContinue »
he had seen a heavy globe of brass which he was himself unable to move; but on inquiring its use, he was told that it was employed for testing the strength of the wrestlers; none being admitted as combatants till it was ascertained, by their lifting of this weight, with whom they should be matched. This reminds us that, in the piratical states of Barbary, when European captives were brought in to be disposed of as slaves, they were often compelled by their captors, or intended purchasers, to afford evidence of their strength by raising large and most burdensome stones provided for the purpose.
11. “The mourning of Hadadrimmon."-This was the great mourning for Josiah, 2 Chron. xxxv. 22-25. Jerome says that Hadad-rimmon was the name of a place which, in his time, went by the name of Maximianopolis, so called in honour of the emperor Maximian, being situated seventeen miles from Cæsarea and ten miles from Jezreel. This was perhaps the exact place, in the valley or plain of Megiddo, where Josiah was slain.
1 The fountain of purgation for Jerusalem, 2 from idolatry, and false prophecy. 7 The death of Christ, and the trial of a third part
In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for 'uncleanness.
2¶ And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.
3 And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.
4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied;
1 Heb. separation for uncleanness.
1 The destroyers of Jerusalem destroyed. 4 The coming of Christ, and the graces of his kingdom. 12 The plague of Jerusalem's enemies. 16 The remnant shall turn to the Lord, 20 and their spoils shall be holy.
Verse 4. "Wear a rough garment to deceive."-It appears from various passages of Scripture, that the prophets usually wore a rough or hairy garment; and it would seem that the deception of which Zechariah here speaks was, that the false prophets, to complete their imposition on the people, assumed the outward garb by which prophets were distinguished.
BEHOLD, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
Ezek. 30. 13. 3 Heb. a garment of hair.
neither shall they wear a rough garment 'to deceive:
5 But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.
6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.
7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: 'smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.
8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.
9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
• Heb. to lie. 5 Matt. 26. 31. Mark 14. 27.
against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst hereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5 And ye shall flee to the valley of 'the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the 'earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
when he shall touch the valley of the mountains to the place he separated.
3 Amos 1. 1. 329
12¶And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.
14 And "Judah also shall fight at Jeru
4 Heb. precious,
salem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.
15 And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the muie, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.
16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
19 This shall be the "punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
20 In that day shall there be upon the 18bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD'S house shall be like the bowls before the altar.
21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the "Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts. Or, the day shall be one. 7 Rev. 22. 5. 8 Isa. 60. 19. Rev. 21. 23. 11 Or, compassed. 12 Or, shall abide. 13 Or, shall abide. 18 Or, bridles.
10 Or, eastern.
17 Or. sin.
15 Or, against. 15 Heb. upon whom there is not.
19 Isa. 35, 8. Joel 3. 17. Rev. 21. 27, and 22. 15.
Verse 18. "The family of Egypt. that have no rain."-This is a very remarkable distinction made with respect to Egypt. The nations that would not go up to Jerusalem were to be punished with the want of rain; but since Egypt had no rain," it would not be comprehended under this ban; and therefore a special clause is added for that country, denouncing on it a different punishment. The statement that Egypt had no rain is, like that of Pliny, to be understood in the qualified sense.-that Egypt had not rain so abundantly or frequently as other countries; and possessed, in the periodical overflowings of the Nile, and in the means of irrigation which that river at other times supplies, peculiar resources which would prevent even the entire deprivation of rain from producing calamitous consequences. (See the note on Exod. vii. 15.) The case is, that during the usual season of rain, which corresponds to our winter, falls of rain are rather frequent, though not of long continuance, in the provinces which border on the Mediterranean, and in the deserts between the valley of the Nile and the Red Sea. But in the interior of Egypt it almost never rains; the inundation of the Nile, and the abundant nocturnal dews, being the sole fertilizing principles. This extraordinary dryness of the valley of the Nile is to be attributed to the heat of the sun, and to the course of the winds which, as determined by the form of the valley, blow pretty constantly from the north-west. The clouds formed from the vapours of the seas, which bound Egypt on the north and east, are drawn into this current of air, which drives them towards Nubia and Ethiopia, where they speedily fall in rain upon the woods and mountains-thus ultimately benefiting Egypt by rendering the increase of its river more abundant. The currents of air which traverse the valley of the Nile are most sensible at a distance from the mountains which confine that valley on the east and west; near these mountains, the effect of the currents is less powerful; and there it sometimes rains.
20. "The bells of the horses."-Dr. Gill, who wrote about ninety years since-when, from the bad condition of the roads, goods were conveyed by pack-horses far more extensively than of late years-says, that they, as well as draught horses, were often furnished with bells, under the notion that the animals were encouraged and enlivened by the sound,
We are not aware that pack-horses now wear bells in this country; but they have not wholly disappeared from draught horses. In Western Asia, where there are no draught horses, bells are much employed on baggage animals, that is, in caravans, except in districts which, on account of danger from robbers, it is desired to pass through in silence. When this consideration does not prevent, the continual jingling of numerous bells is a remarkable characteristic of an Oriental caravan. The objects of this usage are alleged to be-to encourage the beasts, to frighten animals of prey, and, above all, to keep the party together, enabling those who may have strayed or lingered to rejoin the caravan by following the sound of the bells. This is an object of great importance in countries where the routes pass over trackless plains and mountain passes, marked by no regular roads or pathways. The bells, which are thick, and seldom very musical, are attached in various fashions, but generally as in our cut, and always under the animal's throat. Frequently a single animal has but one bell; but we have seen baggage-mules, which seem to have been regarded as a sort of leaders, furnished with seven or eight bells. The bells are in general about the size of our common house-bells, but not so broad in proportion at the base. It is singular that the Orientals do not use bells for any other purpose whatever than this.
As to the inscription upon the bells of the horses, it is
Camel's Head with Bells.
of course a figurative expression to denote the consecration
of the meanest things to the Divine glory. Nevertheless, the mention of bells with pots, in this connection, reminds us to mention that the expression might contain an allusion to an actual practice; for nothing is more common than for the Orientals to have the name of God, or some pious text or moral maxim inscribed upon their vessels of metal, generally in such a manner as to form an ornamental border near the rim. We have ourselves used cups and dishes of tinned copper thus ornamented; and we had almost said that we had seen the same on the bells of animals; but feeling slightly doubtful as to the accuracy of our recollection, we abstain.
HERE, at the close of Zechariah's book of prophecy, we proceed to notice, as promised in the introductory note, the sepulchral structure which stands in the valley of Jehoshaphat, bearing the name of the Tomb of Zechariah; and a representation of which is contained in the engraving at p. 265 of the present volume. It will be seen that, in its general character, it resembles Absalom's Tomb in the same valley (see 2 Sam xviii.); and, like that, belongs rather to sculpture than architecture, being altogether a mass of hewn rock. Mr. Buckingham has given perhaps the best description of it, as follows: "It is a square mass of rock, hewn down into form, and isolated from the quarry out of which it is cut, by a passage of twelve or fif een feet wide on three of its sides; the fourth, or western side being open towards the valley and to Mount Moriah, the foot of which is only a few yards distant. This square mass is eight paces in length on each side, and about twenty feet high in the front, and ten feet high at the back, the hill on which it stands having a steep ascent. It has four semi-columns cut out of the same rock on each of its faces, with a pilaster at each angle, all of a bastard Ionic order and ornamented in bad taste. The architrave, the full moulding, and the deep overhanging cornice which finishes the square, are all perfectly after the Egyptian manner; and the whole is surmounted by a pyramid, the sloping sides of which rise from the very edges of the square below, and terminate in a finished point. The square of this monument is one solid mass of rock, as well as its semi-columns on each face; but the surmounting pyramid appears to be of masonry: its sides however are perfectly smooth, like the coated pyramids of Saccara and Dashour, and not graduated by stages as the pyramids of Gizeh in Egypt....There is no appearance of an entrance to any part of it; so that it seems, if a tomb, to have been as firmly closed as the Egyptian pyramids themselves; perhaps from the same respect for the inviolability of the repose of the dead." The same was the case with the "Tomb of Absalom" till a passage was broken into it. Pococke was informed that there was a subterraneous entrance to this tomb, known to none but the Jews; and he thought this not unlikely.
The mixed character of this and some of the other sepulchral monuments in this neighbourhood, has occasioned some perplexity to antiquarian travellers. Dr. Clarke thinks it impossible to determine in what age or by what people they were formed. Buckingham and some others are of opinion that the substantial part-the square mass, with the moulding, broad cornice, and surmounting pyramid, were the work of a Jewish age; but that the bastard Ionic columns and pilasters raised from the mass on each of its sides, were the ornamental work of a more modern period, added either out of veneration for the monument itself, or to transfer it by modification to some other purpose. The probability of such a conjecture we were disposed to admit with respect to the tomb of Absalom; because, supposing it to be what its name imported (which we by no means affirmed), it was probably erected too early for the admixture of the Greek style, which it exhibits, to have been part of the original fabric. But the tomb of Zechariah does not require this explanation, supposing it to have been really erected in honour of that prophet, which is very uncertain. He died at a comparatively late period; and it is not necessary to conclude that the Jews thought of erecting a grand monument in honour of the prophet till a much later day, when their subjection to the Romans and long intercourse with the Greeks of Asia would naturally have some influence in modifying their former notions of architecture, which were probably derived from the Egyptians. That this was the case may be collected from the account which Josephus gives of Herod's buildings: and that this and some other of the monuments which still remain were probably erected after such influence had been received, appears the more probable from the intimation afforded in one of our Saviour's reproofs, that the Jews were, in his time, solicitous to honour the memory of the prophets by building their sepulchres. We consider this impression further supported by the fact, that it is impossible to identify this mixture of Egyptian and Greek styles as belonging to any people who have held possession of Jerusalem since it was lost to the Jews. These considerations are of interest not merely as respects this and the other tombs, but as affecting the general subject of the later Jewish architecture; and thus opening a large question which it is not necessary that we should discuss.
7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we pol
1 Malachi complaineth of Israel's unkindness. 6 Of luted thee? In that ye say, The table of their irreligiousness, 12 and profaneness.
the LORD is contemptible.
HE bur den of the word of the LORD Israel 'by Malachi.
2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us?
Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,
3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
8 And if ye offer the blind 'for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. 9 And now, I pray you, beseech "God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been "by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.
10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an 'offering at your hand.
11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.
13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.
14 But cursed be the deceiver, "which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the LORD a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the
4 Heb. from upon. 5 Or, Bring unto, &c. 6 Heb. to sacrifice. 10 Or, whereas ye might have blown it away.
3 ()г. ироп.
9 Isa. 111. Jer. 6. 10. Amos 5. 21.
MALACHI. This name signifies "my angel" or "my messenger;" but whether it is to be understood as a proper name, or as a title applied to his office as a prophetic messenger of God, is a question difficult to decide. It is more certain that "Malachi" does not occur as a proper name in any part of Scripture; and we rather incline to suppose that the
prophecy is anonymous, and that the title Malachi is given to the prophet from his distinct prediction concerning the messenger ("my messenger" i. e. malachi: iii. 1), which has always been considered by both Jews and Christians as one of the most remarkable and important prophecies of Scripture. As so many conjectures have been offered on the subject, we add this one with some hesitation; but it seems to us at least as probable as any other, and to those who know that several books of the Hebrew Scripture take their titles from words which they contain, this probability will seem all the greater. One strange opinion, supported by Origen and others, supposes that this prophet was really an incarnate angel: another identifies him with Mordecai; and a third with Ezra. This last opinion has the support of the Chaldee Paraphrast, and of several Christian writers of note: but the arguments adduced in support of this opinion are by no means convincing when carefully examined. What is more certain is, that Malachi was the last of the Old Testament prophets. Haggai and Zechariah prophesied in the time of Zerubbabel, during the building of the Temple; but Malachi speaks of the Temple as having been some time built; and from this and other intimations it appears that he prophesied while Nehemiah was governor. The prophecy describes exactly the same state of affairs as the history of Nehemiah; and the "governor," which was the title of Nehemiah, is mentioned in ch. i. 8. The Jewish writers state that prophecy continued for forty years in the time of the second Temple, under Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, of whom the latter was, as we have seen, evidently the last. With him the Old Testament prophecies conclude, and conclude most strikingly with foretelling the coming of John the Baptist, with whose mission the New Testament
The last of the prophetical books," says Bishop Lowth, "that of Malachi, is written in a kind of middle style, which seems to indicate that the Hebrew poetry, from the time of the Babylonish captivity, was in a declining state, and being past its prime and vigour, was then fast verging towards the debility of age." Although this is probably true as to the state of Hebrew poetry in general, we do not see that it clearly follows from the style of Malachi's prophecy, the latter portion of which, at least, does not appear to be by any means wanting in force or elegance.
Verse 8. "Ye offer the blind for sacrifice," &c.-By consulting Lev. xxii. 20-24, the reader will perceive that the practices here specified were expressly forbidden by the Law. The feeling of proper reverence for God and the services of his altar would indeed alone have dictated that what was offered to Him should be the best and most perfect of its kind. Even the heathen were sensible of this propriety, and were careful that their victims were without blemish or imperfection. Thus, Homer, in the Iliad (i. 66), makes Achilles propose to consult some priest, prophet, or interpreter of dreams, to know whether the angry Apollo might not be
"Sooth'd with steam
Of lambs or goats unblemish'd.”—CowPER.
Indeed, it was required generally that the victims should not be lame, diseased, or sickly, or in any other than a good condition; or rather it was desired that they should be more above than below the average condition of their species. Pliny, in his chapter De Bubus (1. viii., c. 45), says, that no calf that could not go to the altar on its feet, but required to be carried, was acceptable to the gods; and that, in general, no lame victim was fit for sacrifice. The Jews theinselves seem, in the end, to have become remarkably particular, even above the law, as to the qualifications of the victims, if what Maimonides says be true, that there were no less than fifty blemishes (enumerated by him) which rendered an animal unfit to be offered on the Lord's altar.
1 He sharply reproveth the priests for neglecting
2 'If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye did not lay it to heart. 3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and 'spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and 'one shall take you away with it.
4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid be
1 Levit. 26. 14, &c. Deut. 28. 15, &c.
6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.
7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
2 Or, reprove.
8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to 'stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but "have been partial in the law.
10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?
11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. Or, it shall take you away to it. 5 Or, fall in the law, 8 Ephes. 4 6. "Or, ought to love
3 Heb. scatter. 7 Heb accepted faces.