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Now we venture to affirm the direct opposite, that nothing is more common, and especially in these books of Ezra and Nehemiah, than to find the same proper names repeated. We do not mean repetitions which are matters of doubtful reference, but those which are undeniable. For instance we have a list of 120 names in Ezra x. 18—44, of those who had taken strange wives, and there are 58 duplicates or triplicates in the number. If we extended the comparison of these with the other names in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, we doubt whether there are more than twenty, out of one hundred and twenty, which could not be proved to belong to two persons. How slippery and deceitful, then, must be an argument resting on such a foundation ! Even the author himself. after arguing in the text that the same Mordecai and Nehemiah must be meant in the different passages, is compelled to admit, in a foot-note, that two Nehemiahs are clearly mentioned.
forbids us to enter largely on a fourth argument, which consists in conjectures drawn from the writings of Ferdousi and Merkhond, and the Persian legends, long after the Christian era.
brief view will be enough to prove that these are the worst materials conceivable for establishing an emended chronology.
The list of the two dynasties, the Pishdadian and Kaianian, includes twenty kings in succession : Kai Omers, Houshong, Tehmuras, Jemsheed, Zohak, Feridoon, Minuchecher or Ferouz, Nawder, Afrasiab, Zaub and Gurshstasp ; Kai Kobad, Kai Ka'oos, Kai Kosrau, Lohorasp, Gushtasp, Behmen or the Long-handed, Humai or Khanee, Darab, son of Behmen, and Darab the less. The reign of Kai Omers is made 40 years, of Ferouz 120, and of Kai Kobad, Kai Ka'oos, and Kai Kosrau, 100, 150, and 60 years respectively. To Lohorasp, Gushtasp, and Behmen are assigned 120, 120, and 112 years. The whole period of the two dynasties amounts to 2597712=971 years.
The steps of the proposed restitution are these: Jemsheed the fourth, and Nawzer the eighth Pishdadian king, and Kai Ka'oos, the second Kaianian, are all made the same person, the Nebuchadnezzar II. of Scripture, and Cambyses of the Greek historians. According to his Grace, he would be contemporary with Herodotus for forty years, and conquering about the time when that historian travelled in the East. Yet we are to reject the testimony of Herodotus about him, and to restore his chronology by the help of Merkhond, who places him, under the name of Jemsheed, about 700 years, and thirteen generations, before the birth of that historian.
The lengths of the reigns being first rejected, the continuous and single list is thus broken up into three parallel series. Twenty
generations, by these conjectures, are reduced to about eleven. The fourth, eighth, and thirteenth kings in the traditional series are made the same person. Thus at length we obtain the following series of names and reigns in succession. 1. Kai Kobad=Nebuchadnezzar the First=the true Cyrus the Great. 2. Jemsheed=Nebuchadnezzar the Second =Nawser=Kai Ka'oos=Cam
byses, or Cumbukht. 3. Kai Kosrau=Cyrus of Herodotus, confounded with the true Cyrus. 4. Lohorasp=Zaub=Darius the Mede=Darius Hystaspes. 5. Gushstasp=Gurstasf, or Kishtasp=Xerxes=Ahasuerus. 6. Behmen, or the Long-handed=Artaxerxes Longimanus.
After such a list, it is not a little surprising that the noble writer should make it a decisive argument against the common view, that it requires us to suppose that Cambyses and Smerdis bore also the names Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes. For his own Ahasuerus has four other names, and his own Cambyses five others at least. Nor is this the only difficulty. After carving the Persian legends down into these moderate dimensions, from twenty generations to about twelve, and from nearly 1000 years to about 250, we have a result in which twenty-two names are combined upon six kings, and an order that does open violence to Scripture itself, and to Herodotus, even in the events of his own lifetime. We have two Nebuchadnezzars, and the Scripture gives no hint of the kind, but clear proofs that one king is always spoken of under that name. We have Cambyses made contemporary with Herodotus, and alive when his history was written, though the writer had been in Egypt, and places the death of that king forty years before his own birth. We have the Cyrus of Herodotus following Cambyses; in direct contradiction of that author, and perhaps of every other; nay, in direct contradiction of Scripture, which makes Evil Merodach succeed on the death of Nebuchadnezzar. We have Darius Hystaspes identified with the Mede, though he is declared by Herodotus, who was born at the close of his reign, to have slain a Median usurper and restored the dynasty of the Persians; and separated from Gushstasp, where the names are in almost literal agreement. Again, Lohorasp, who comes fifteenth in the original list, is made to precede by ten years Jemsheed, who comes the fourth in order; and Nebuchadnezzar, both the first and second, prove to be only viceroys of Darius the Mede, who took the kingdom when Belshazzar, the son or grandson of Nebuchadnezzar was overthrown. We are hardly prepared also, after the censure cast in the Preface on the supposition that “ the first-mentioned Artaxerxes is Cambyses, for the word (Artaxerxes) signifies merely a great warrior ;” to find that the noble author adopts the very same license, only transferring it from one name to the other,
and says, p. 251, that Cambyses " was more probably a title than a name.” He allows further that the Darius of Ctesias is an Artaxerxes, and that Artaxerxes Oarses is Arses, and that the Jews suppose the second Darius to be Artaxerxes also ; that the Cyrus of Ctesias is the Nebuchadnezzar of Polyhistor; the Xerxes of Herodotus the Artaxerxes of Ctesias, and Evil Merodach in Scripture perhaps the same with Belshazzar; and that three Cyruses, really different, have been confounded into one, Kai Kobad, or Nebuchadnezzar the First; Kai Kosrau, or the Cyrus of Herodotus, who followed Cambyses, and the Coresch of Scripture, who was really a satrap under Behmen, or Artaxerxes the First, and whose “ short and brilliant reign” was in the days of Herodotus and Thucydides, and of the classic writers of Greece, though none of them seemed ever to have suspected its occurrence. All this appears to us simply confusion worse confounded, and it requires a little space to recover our breath, and clear away the mental dizziness produced by the bare enumeration of such coincidences and identities as these. We are ready to say, with Archimedes, dos seu otã—for there is not a single fixed point left, and not a single law of evidence that is not, at least in our conviction, entirely overthrown. Herodotus, contemporary in part, on the author's view, with Jemsheed, Nawzer, Zaub, Gurshasf, Kai Ka'oos, Kai Kosrau, Gushstasp and Behmen; the fourth, eighth, tenth, eleventh, thirteenth, fourteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth kings in the Persian list, is to be corrected by authorities who have placed the first of these fourteen reigns, seven hundred years earlier than the other. To specify one point-according to the new theory, Cambyses over. threw Apries A.C. 486, two years before Herodotus was born, and died a.c. 441, when the same historian was more than forty years old. He recited his history at the games at the age of twentyeight, and travelled, either before or soon after, into Egypt and as far as Babylon, to procure the best information. Must be not have been mad and blind at once, to place the invasion of Egypt by Cambyses eighty years distant, when it took place just when he himself was born; and to state that Apries was slain forty-four years earlier, when he was put to death by Cambyses; and to place the death of Cambyses at Ecbatana soon after, or about a.c. 520, when he was really living still at the time of his own visit, and perhaps ten years later ? With the deepest respect for the noble writer, and for the various research and learning displayed in his work, every examination of the system only increases our surprize that it has ever been seriously maintained.
Instead, however, of enlarging the list of paradoxes which result from the proposed arrangement, or sifting one by one the minor
arguments, which appear to us thoroughly wanting in real solidity, it will be better to exhibit afresh, in the shortest manner possible, the direct proofs of the usual system. For this end we will first explain the results of Scripture only, and then compare them with the most definite remains of external evidence, the Canon of Ptolemy, confirmed by the records of several eclipses, and the history of Herodotus and Xenophon, who both travelled to Babylon and the East, and of whom the former was almost an eye-witness from the reign of Hystaspes to that of the later Darius. The mist which has been thrown around this part of chronology in such learned profusion, will thus, as we hope, be almost entirely cleared away.
First, let us learn from Scripture the real succession of reigns, from Jehoiakim to the close of the sacred Canon. In Jeremiah and 2 Kings, we find the two successive kings of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar and Evil Merodach. In the history of Daniel we have first the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, and afterwards that of Belshazzar, at whose death the kingdom is numbered and finished. Hence we have three names in order, Nebuchadnezzar, Evil Merodach, and Belshazzar. The same is confirmed by Jeremiah xxvii. 7: “ And all nations shall serve him (Nebuchadnezzar) and his son, and his son's son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.” The time of the land, as the holy Daniel tells us, came at the death of Belshazzar, and he was therefore the son's son of Nebuchadnezzar. Evil Merodach tben, was his son, and the order, so far, is consistent and certain.
In Daniel's history, again, the order of reigns is continued by Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Persian. Under the former the laws of the Medes and Persians were in force, and the dynasty was therefore changed. We have now five successions plainly defined, -Nebuchadnezzar, Evil Merodach, and Belshazzar, Babylonians; Darius the Mede, and Cyrus the Persian.
The latter part of the order is confirmed anew by Daniel's prophecies. These are evidently placed in order of time. And they are in the first and third years of Belshazzar, in the first of Darius, son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, and in the third of Cyrus. The words (vi. 28) imply that Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Persian reigned in direct succession. The order of the prophecies shews the same, for Dan. X.—xii. bears evident marks, besides its actual place in the book, that it was the latest vision. Hence Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, is only a fuller and more complete description of Darius the Mede, and all the evidence harmonizes together.
2 Kin.xxxvi. Jerem. Dan.j-vi. Jerem. xxvii.
of the Medes. Cyrus, king of Persia
From Ezra, Nehemiah, and Haggai, we may continue the list. After Cyrus came Ahasuerus, Artaxerxes, and Darius the builder of the temple; then another Artaxerxes, and after some interval Darius the Persian. In Dan. xi. we read of three kings after Cyrus, and a fourth richer than all, who should stir up all against the realm of Grecia. The prophecy then passes at once to Alexander the Great. It seems plain from the history that the reigns of Cyrus, Ahasuerus, Artaxerxes, and the Darius of Zechariah, were strictly consecutive, but uncertain whether one or more reigns might not intervene between the Darius of Zechariah, and Artaxerxes Ezra vii., and between this last monarch aud Darius the Persian. Hence the final list will be as follows : Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar. Evil Merodach
His son. Jer. xxvii.
His son's son.
Ahasuerus. Esth. i-s.
Artaxerxes. Ezra vii.
Thus all the indications are harmonious in these various histories of Scripture. It remains doubtful whether Artaxerxes were the fourth or some later king after Cyrus, and whether Darius the Persian followed next in order, or after some interval of time.
Let us next learn what light Scripture will supply on the length of their respective reigns. In Jeremiah we learn that the fourth of Jehoiakim was the first of Nebuchadnezzar. The identity implies that both were dated from the Nisan of the Jewish year. But Daniel was carried captive in the third of Jehoiakim. This might relate to the same time, reckoned from the actual accession, or the beginning of the Chaldean year, and would imply that the reign of Nebuchadnezzar in Jeremiah, began early in the spring: In the close of the eighth of Nebuchadnezzar, “ at the return of