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A. M. 3001. A. C. 1003; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4654. A. C. 757. 1 KINGS viii. TO THE END OF 2 CHRON. hurting the three young men that were cast into the fur- We pretend not however to advance, that Jonah was nace; that as he made St Peter's body either so light one of this sort of men ; but still we may affirm, that it as to walk upon the waters, or the waters so solid as to was in God's power, during his continuance in the fish's support it; so with the same facility, he might control belly, to put him in such a state of acquiescence, and the acid humours in any creature's stomach, and make it, his blood into such a form of circulation, as would require for such a determinate time, lose its faculty of digestion : no more respiration than the fætus has in the womb. for in all this there is nothing that surpasses the power of In this there is nothing impossible, nothing incompatible the great Author of nature, who gives or suspends the with the laws of nature ; though it must be acknowledged activity of all bodies, who stops or controls, who changes that strictly speaking the thing is above the ordinary or modifies, as he thinks fit, all the motions which he and known laws of nature, and therefore miraculous : communicates to matter, of what kind soever it be. And, but then if we believe not this miracle, why should we in like manner, though it be impossible, according believe any other, or why should it be thought a more to the ordinary laws of nature, for a man to breathe incredible thing, that Jonah should live three days in in the stomach of a fish, or at least to draw in such a the belly of a large fish, than that Lazarus 3 should be quantity of air as is requisite to give a due circulation to recalled to life again, after he had been four days buried his blood ; yet since it is neither contrary to the nature in the grave; that the prophet should return from this nur superior to the power of God, by one means or other sea-monster's stomach, safe and sound, than that the to effect the thing, if it be but agreeable to his will, we three Jews in Babylon should escape from the flaming cannot see any reason why it may not be done.
furnace, without having so much “as the smell of the Bats and swallows, and other birds, which in the cold fire pass upon them ?” season of the year, creep into cliffs of rocks, and hollow “ But other miracles, it may be said, were done for trees, 'creatures that live under ground, and several some wise ends of providence, and when there appeared others that abide at the bottom of deep water, subsist in an urgent occasion for God's exerting his almighty a manner without breathing. They live, as it were in a power ; whereas, in the case before us, there seems to deliquium of life, and the blood in their veins seems to be none at all.” move very slowly, if at all; and yet we find them revive That prophets, however, invested with great power, again, upon the approach of the genial heat of the sun, and sometimes intrusted with high commissions from to give their blood and juices a brisker fermentation; God, were 5 ' men subject to like passions' and infirand why might not God then, during these three days mities as we are, is evident, not only from the testimony and nights, put Jonah into the very same state of repose of the apostle, but from the accounts of their own behaand tranquillity, that either the element they live in, or viour likewise. The prophet that was sent to Bethel, the colder season of the year, do naturally bring upon to denounce God's judgment against the idolatrous altar, these animals, by correcting the fluidity, and retarding the was a sad example of human frailty, in giving credit to circulation of his blood, so as to make frequent respira- the persuasions of another, even when they contradicted tion not so necessary ?
a divine command. Jonah, when he was directed to go The ancient physicians were of opinion, that while to Nineveh, discovered the like if not greater tokens of the child continued in its mother's womb, it lived with human infirmity, when, instead of pursuing that journey, out breathing, so that there was no employment for the be bent his course another way, not without some vain lungs, until it came into the open air ; but later anato- hopes of evading, by that means, the divine presence : mists will persuade us, that, without some circulation of and therefore as God sent a lion to slay the prophet of blood in the body, no animal can live ; and therefore Judah, for his too much credulity; so some have imathey pretend to have found out in the fætus a consider- gined, that he not only pursued this prophet of Israel able artery, which conveys the blood from the vena cava, with a dreadful storm, but even had him thrown overwithout its passing into the right ventricle of the heart, board, and swallowed up by this sea-monster, in punishinto the lungs; from whence by another smaller artery, ment for his perverseness and prevarication. God indeed, which they call the botal, it is carried into the aorta, by his overruling power, made the belly of this monster and so continues in a perpetual circulation, without en- a place of security to him; but what notions the prophet tering the lobes of the lungs, which are not replete with himself had of this strange habitation, 6. where the floods blood, nor begin to move, until the child is born and conipassed him about, and the billows and waves passed sucks in the fresh air. For then, say they, the blood over him,' we may learn from his meditations in the deep, being forced by the motion of the heart into the artery, '' when he cried, by reason of his affliction, to the Lord, whose orifice lies in its right ventricle, goes directly into and he heard him;' so that, upon the presumption that the lungs, and is thence brought back by the pulmonary God intended not to destroy him, the primary reason, we vein, so that the other vessels which help the circulation may imagine, for his appointing this fish to swallow him of blood in the fætus, being now become useless, do by up, was to stop this fugitive prophet, as he was endeadegrees stop and are dried up. But it may not always vouring to make his escape : but then,' in the midst of happen so : in some particular persons nature sometimes judgment, thinking upon mercy,' after a confinement of preserves them open ; and this is the reason which some three nights and three days in the deep, whereby he both give us why the divers, as they are called, who accus- taught him better obedience for the future, and rectified tom themselves to go under deep water to discover and his notions concerning the divine omnipresence, he bring up the riches of the deep, can abide so long in that ordered his jailor, if we may so speak, to give him his element without breathing.
liberty, and deliver him safe on shore. ! Calmet's Dissertation on the Fish, &c.
3 John xi. 17, 39, 44. • Dan. iii. 27. 5 Ja, v. 17. * On this subject see the following supplement by the Editor.
6 Jon, ii. 3.
? Ibid, ver. %.
A. M. 3001. A. C. 1003; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4654. A. C. 757. 1 KINGS viii. TO THE END OF 2 CHRON. The oriental traditions do vastly differ as to the place, things that they called upon him for, and had statutes where Jonah was cast upon the land. 'Josephus must and judgments more righteous than any other people needs be under a gross mistake, when, to throw him upon upon earth : a nation ? . to whom,' as the apostle expressome coast of the Euxine sea, he makes the whale, which ses it, 'appertained the adoption, and the glory, and could hardly be any quick mover, run 800 leagues, at the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service least, in three days and nights ; neither are others, of God, and the promises :' a nation 8 . which the Lord who from the upper part of the Mediterranean, carry him had taken from the midst of another nation,' had brought into the ocean, and thence into the Red Sea, or the out of Egypt, and settled in Canaan, ‘by temptations, Persian Gulf, in the like space of time, any happier in by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty their conjectures. The ship, we know, was bound for hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terTarsus 2 a a great trading town in Cilicia, a province in rors ;' and that he, in particular, was a prophet of this Asia Minor, at the east end of the Mediterranean Sea ; great God, who had made the heavens and the earth, and therefore the most probable opinion is, that some- the sea, and all that in them is,' and who, for his disowhere on this coast, the fish disembogued itself of Jonah ; bedience in refusing to come upon this errand, had conand if so, the mariners, who by the time that he was set fined him in the deep for three days and nights, but now, on shore, had arrived at their port, when they heard the upon his humiliation, had set him free from his ghastly strange account of his deliverance, must have become prison, and given him courage to speak with so much converts to the worship of that God only, who, in this in- boldness ; the people, I say, who were informed of all stance, had shown himself able, 3 éto do whatever he this, could not well fail of giving God the glory due pleased in heaven, and in the earth, in the sea, and in unto his name, for sending a prophet of his favourite all the deep places.'
nation, and one of so distinguished a character, to give In the storm which St Paul, in his voyage from Crete them notice of their impending doom. to Rome, underwent, an angel stood by him one night, 9. I wrought for my name's sake,' says God, rememand said unto him, "Lo, God hath given thee all them bering the wondrous things which he had done for the that sail with thee :' and if, by the expression, we may children of Israel, ‘I wrought for my name's sake, that understand the salvation of their souls, as well as their it should not be polluted among the heathen, among bodies, a sufficient reason it was, for God's permitting whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known this distress to fall upon them, since eventually it proved unto them, in bringing them out of the land of Egypt:? the occasion of their conversion. And, in like manner, and therefore we may well admit, as another motive if the sudden ceasing of the storm upon` Jonah's being to his working this miracle, the desire he had to raise cast forth into the sea,' * made so strong an impression the fame of a nation he had taken so immediately under upon the mariners that sailed with him, how can we his care, as well as to have the glory of his own name think, but that his miraculous escape out of that merciless magnified among the Gentiles. To which we may add element, especially when he came to recount the partic- that most weighty reason of all, which our blessed Saviour ulars of it, would make them all proselytes to his reli- suggests : 10 An evil and adulterous generation seeketh gion? And if we may suppose further, that some of the after a sign, and there shall no sign be given it, but the ship’s crew accompanied him to Nineveh, as knowing sign of the prophet Jonas : for as Jonas was three days the purpose of bis errand thither, to testify to the people and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of that he was the same man who was in this manner de- man be three days and three nights in the heart of the livered from the jaws of the deep, or that the Ninevites earth.' So that the great design of God's exhibiting, at came by their intelligence of this miracle by some other this time, this miracle in the person of Jonah, was to means, we have here a good reason why they attended confirm, in future ages, the great and fundamental article to his message, and repented at his preaching ; and of our faith, upon which the whole superstructure of the consequently why God wrought this wonderful work upon Christian religion depends, the resurrection of our Sahim, in order to give his predictions more weight and viour Christ;' and that whenever the reality of that fact
as it is related in the New Testament, came to be called in Nay, farther, we may suppose, that when the people of question, we might be furnished with a parallel instance Nineveh heard Jonah preaching about their streets, and of the mighty power of God recorded in the Old. threatening their city with so sudden a destruction, their Nor is it only in the sacred records that we meet with curiosity would naturally lead them to inquire who that this history of Jonah, but in the fables, related by serperson was, and by whose authority it was that he took eral heathen authors, both in verse and prose, we find so much upon him ? and being informed that he was of evident footsteps and memorials of it. Hercules was a nation, 6 . which had God more nigh unto them in all the great champion of the Grecians, and his fame they
were wont to adorn with all the remarkable exploits that Jewish Antiq. b. ix, c. II.
they could in any nation hear of. It is not improbable * Wells' Geography of the New Testament, part 2. Ps. cxxxv. 6.
therefore, " that the adventure of his jumping down the
• Jonah i. 16. 6 Deut. iv. 7,
throat of the seadog, which Neptune had sent to devour a Commentators are not agreed as to whether this was the him, and there concealing himself for three days, without same with Tartessus in Spain, the most celebrated emporium in any manner of hurt, save the loss of a few hairs, which the west to which the Hebrews traded, or Tarsus, the metropolis came off by the heat of the creature's stomach, of Cicilia, celebrated as the birth-place of St Paul: a consider- founded upon some blind tradition which these people able number of eminent names might be adduced in support of both opinions. That it was the one or other of these places seems almost certain; but it is not of great importance that we should ? Rom. ix. 4. 8 Deut. iv. 34. 9 Ezek. xx. 9, 14. be assured which it was.-ED
"Lycophron, see Grotius and Bochart.
10 Mat, xii. 39, 40.
Acts xxvii. 24.
was SUPPLEMENTAL BY THE EDITOR.
A. M. 3001. A. C. 1003 ; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4654. A. C. 737. I'KINGS viii. TO THE END OF 2 CHRON. might have of what happened to Jonah. Nor can the man might be admitted entire into the stomach of this known story of Arion, thrown overboard by the seamen, fish, he could not live there. But Dr Mosely has ascerbut taken up by a dolphin, and carried safe to Corinth, tained by the most decisive experiments, that digestion in be justly referred to any other original; since,' besides fishes is not produced either by trituration or by the heat of some resemblance in their names, and no great disparity the stomach. “I generally found,” says he, “after cutin the times wherein they lived, which are both circum- ting up the stomachs of many cod-fish just as they came stances that make for this hypothesis, the supposed dif- alive out of the water,--small oysters, muscles, cockles, ference in their respective callings can be no manner of and crabs, as well as small fishes of their own and other objection to it, because the same word in the Hebrew species. The coldness of the stomach of these fishes, is tongue signifies both a prophet and a musician. And far greater than the temperature of the water out of which therefore it is remarkable, that as Arion played the tune they are taken, or of any other part of the fish, or of wherewith he charmed and allured the fish to save him, any other substance of animated nature I ever felt. On before he jumped overboard ; so Jonah, when he found wrapping one of them round my hand, immediately on himself safely landed, uttered, what is called 3 a prayer being taken out of the fish, it caused so much aching and indeed, but is, in reality, a lofty hymn in commemora- numbness that I could not endure it long.” “ Animals tion of his great deliverance, as appears by this speci- or parts of animals, possessed of the living principle, men : *«The waters compassed me about, even to the when taken into the stomach, are not,” says Mr John soul ; the depth closed me round about, and weeds were Hunter, ?“ in the least affected by the powers of that wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms viscus, so long as the animal principle remains. Thence of the mountains; the earth, with her bars, was about it is that we find animals of various kinds living in the me for ever ; yet hast thou brought up my life from the stomach, or even hatched and bred there ; but the mopit, 0 Lord my God.'
ment that any of these lose the living principle, they become subject to the digestive power of the stomach. If it were possible for a man's hand, for example, to be
introduced into the stomach of a living animal, and kept CHAP. IV.-On Jonah's Mission to Nineveh, and
there for some considerable time, it would be found that abode in the Whale's belly.
the dissolvent powers of the stomach could have no effect upon it; but if the same band were separated from the
body, and introduced into the same stomach, we should The author of the Fragments appended to Calmet's Dic- then find, that the stomach would immediately act upon tionary, explains this, not of a living animal, but of a it. Indeed, if this were not the case, we should find floating preserver, by which Jonah was saved from that the stomach itself ought to have been made of indidrowning. He remarks that the word which is used in gestible materials ; for, if the living principle were not the original, “ Dag,' signifies primarily a fish; yet, that capable of preserving animal substances from undergoit also signifies a fish boat, and figuratively a preserver, ing that process, the stomach itself would be digested. so that the passage will admit of being rendered thus : But we find, on the contrary, that the stomach, which at “the Lord prepared a large preserver to receive Jonah, one instant, that is, while possessed of the living princiand Jonah was in the inner part, the belly or hold,' three ple, was capable of resisting the digestive power which days and nights, and then was cast up on the shore.' it contained, the next moment, namely, when deprived
But this fanciful interpretation cannot be adopted, of the living principle, is itself capable of being digested, because it contradicts the express declaration of our either by the digestive powers of other stomachs, or by Lord. There are four objections urged to the account the remains of that power which it had of digesting other which is given us of this miracle : first, that the gullet things.” of a whale is too small to admit the body of a man. Still, however, it is stated, by way of objection, that Secondly, that though admitted entire into the stomach there are no whales in the Mediterranean sea. With of this fish, he could not live there. Thirdly, that there the view of obviating this objection, some writers have are no whales in the Mediterranean sea. And fourthly, supposed that the shark may have been the fish which is that the whole story is rendered improbable by the re- here intended. But in truth, the objection which this presentation given of the character and religious princi- hypothesis is designed to meet, is frivolous : for on any ples of Jonah.
supposition the preservation of Jonah was owing to a The first objection is refuted by observations which miraculous interposition of providence. It is expressly have been made on the natural history of the whale. asserted, that God had prepared a great fish :' and Captain Scoresby states, that when the mouth of the great who will say, that God could not by an impulse commucommon whale is open, it presents a cavity as large as nicated bring the whale to the side of the ship, and prea room, and capable of containing a merchant ship's pare it for the purpose which it was intended to answer ? jolly boat full of men, being six or eight feet wide, ten But the fourth objection to the whole of this narration or twelve feet high, and fifteen or sixteen feet long. " is, that the story is rendered improbable by the repreThe objection of infidel writers, therefore, in regard to sentation given of the character and religious principles this point, is vain and unfounded.
of Jonah. Can we imagine that a man would have been But it is further alleged, that though the body of a selected, to deliver a message from God to the great
city of Nineveb, who was himself so ignorant as to supHuet. Demonst. Evang. Propos. 4. de Propheta Jonah. pose that he could fee from the presence of the Creator 2 Huetius, ibid. * Jon. ii. 2. *Ibid. ver, 5, 6. * Mat, xii. 40.
6 Vol. i. p. 455.
8 Jon, i. 17.
A. M. 2001. A. C. 2003; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4654. A. C. 757. 1 KINGS viii. TO THE END OF 2 CHRON. and Governor of the universe, and whose dispositions | an appeal to the heart-searching God, and to his proviwere so perverse as to make him unwilling to execute a dence; and he was pleased to determine the matter for commission the most honourable that could be intrusted them, by causing the lot to fall upon Jonah. When he to man?
was thus singled out as the culprit, whom divine venA candid consideration of the circumstances of the geance pursued, the mariners calmly entreated him to case will show that there is no force whatever even in inform them, whether he was not conscious of some great this objection.-Of Jonah little more is known than that crime, for which this calamity was come upon them. he was of Gath-hepher, a town in the tribe of Zebulon, Without reserve Jonah told them of his people and and connected with the kingdom of Israel. He was not religion, as a worshipper of Jehovah the God of heaven, ignorant, as has been imagined, that Jehovah is the God the Creator both of the sea and the dry land ; and at the of the whole earth, whose dominion is universal, and same time ingenuously confessed his sin. This exceedfrom whose presence no swiftness can flee. But by ingly alarmed them; and perceiving that the tempest fleeing unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, he continued to increase, and not knowing how to act, inmeant a withdrawment from that prophetical ministry in quired of Jonah himself as the prophet of Jehovah, the immediate and more special presence of God, as it what they ought to do in this emergency. He, convincwere, which he had been called to discharge. Some ed of his sin and folly, and perhaps receiving some intithink, that he declined going to Nineveh to denounce mation of the divine will, counselled them to cast him the judgments of God against it, because he was jealous into the sea, and then the tempest would cease, for he for the honour of Israel, and was not willing that the knew that it was raised on his account. When they Gentiles should partake of the benefits of prophecy; and found that their endeavours to preserve his life and their he afterwards intimates ' that he apprehended that God own were in vain; and after they had prayed to Jehovah would mercifully spare Nineveh, and that he should be not to impute to them the guilt of murder when in selfdespised and punished as a false prophet. But when we preservation they sacrificed his servant, they cast him consider the perils and hardships to which this journey overboard. The storm having ceased immediately, they and message were likely to expose him; when we ima- were so impressed with what they had seen and heard, gine to ourselves the probable reception of a despised that they feared the mighty power of God, and worprophet of Israel in this proud idolatrous city, come shipped his name.“ Disclaiming all their idol gods, avowedly to predict its speedy destruction; and that says Bishop Hall, “they offered a sacrifice to the only this might draw on him the resentment both of the rulers true God, and made vows to him, to worship him at Jeruand the multitude, we shall not wonder that he was ex- salem.” tremely reluctant to undertake the service. How often does it happen, that the servant of the Lord wishes for a removal from his post merely to escape the opposition with which he may be assailed,—not remembering that,
SECT. IV however painful may be his circumstances, he is safe while in the path of duty, and that in fleeing from that CHAP. I.-From the Death of Uzziah, to the Death path still greater trials await him!
of Josiah king of Judah. Strong faith and a habit of unreserved obedience were necessary to overcome the reluctance that Jonah must
THE HISTORY. have felt. He seems to have supposed that the spirit of prophecy would not rest on him, if he left the land of The interregnum, a or vacancy in the throne of Israel, Israel to go some other way than to Nineveh : he desired which lasted for two and twenty years and upwards, to be freed from those impulses with which he had not occasioned so general a confusion, that the people at courage and faith to comply, and he therefore proposed length came to a resolution to place Zechariah, the son 'to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.' of Jeroboam, and the fourth and last of Jehu's line, Accordingly, he went to Joppa, a seaport town, about forty miles from Gath-hepher, where he is supposed to
a This interregnum some chronologers make longer, and some have dwelt. There he met with a vessel about to sail shorter, according as they suppose that Zechariah reigned mere to Tarshish, and, paying the fare, went aboard, not or less in conjunction with his father: but that there was maniexpecting to be pursued by more imminent danger, than festly a vacancy in the throne of Israel for the time assigned, is
evident from hence: that Jeroboam II., who began to reigu in any of those from which he fled. A tempest was com- the fifteenth year of Amaziah king of Judah, died in the fifteenth missioned to arrest the ship. The affrighted mariners year of Uzziah; and that his son Zechariah began not to reign having some sense of a superior power, but no right till the eight and thirtieth year of the said Uzziah: so that there knowledge of the true God; and being of different was plainly all this interregnum; but whence it was occasioned
whether by foreign wars, or rather by domestic confusions, as countries, cried, every one to the idol that he had been appears by the unfortunate end of the successors, we are nowhere used to worship, for deliverance from death. The ex- told.- Patrick's Commentary. traordinary nature of this tempest, and the general 6 God had promised Jehu, that, for executing his will uper
! notions of a superior power, and of right and wrong, the house of Abab, he would continue the crown of Israel in his which these men entertained, induced them to conclude, Jehoram, and Zechariah succeeded him: but because he did
family for four generations; and accordingly Jehoahaz, Jees that some atrocious criminal sailed with them, for whose it not so much in obedience to the divine command, as to cause this evil had befallen them. They agreed to satisfy his private and ambitious views, and in a methodol decide, by casting lots, who was the criminal. This was cruelty quite abhorrent to the divine nature, God cut his family
short, as soon as he had fulfilled his promise to him, and thereby
accomplished the prophecy of Hosea; “I will avenge the blood Chap. iv. 1, 2.
of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the
A. M. 3001. A. C. 1003; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4654. A. C. 757. 1 KINGS viïi. TO THE END OF 2 CHRON. upon the throne.
This happened in the eight and distractions, marched with an army, and invaded the thirtieth year of Uzziah king of Judah ; but as he proved kingdom of Israel on the other side of Jordan, which lay a wicked prince, and followed the steps of his ancestors, nearest to Babylon: but Menahem, by a present of 3000 he did not live long to enjoy the government; for at talents of silver, which he raised out of the wealthiest of the end of six months he was murdered by Shallum, who his subjects, prevailed with him, not only to withdraw his usurped the throne, but enjoyed it no longer than one forces, but to recognise his title likewise to the crown of month. For Menahem, general of the king's forces, Israel, before he left the kingdom ; which was one great which were then besieging Tirzah, hearing of what reason, that he held the quiet possession of it for the Shallum had done, immediately raised the siege, and space of ten years, and in the fiftieth year of Uzziah marching directly to Samaria, defeated and slew Shal- king of Judah, died, and d was succeeded in it by his lum; and by the power and authority of the army, son Pekahiah. placed himself upon the throne. Not long after this, Pekahiah, however, did not reign above two years, he returned with his army to Tirzah ; a but the inhabi- before he was murdered in his royal palace by Pekah, tants refusing to open the gates, he took the place by the general of his army, who, in the last year of Uzziah storm, and so having spoiled it, and laid all the coun- usurped the crown, and wore it for twenty years, but not try waste as far as Tiphzah, he came and sat down without much disquiet and perplexity. For after that before it : but when the people of Tiphzah, in like man- Tiglath-Pileser, e king of Assyria, had several times ner, refused to open their gates, and submit to him, with invaded his kingdom, taken his cities, ravaged the counout distinction of age or sex, he put them all to the sword, try, and carried away great numbers of his subjects capand, in short, was so barbarously cruel, as to 6 rip up live, Hoshea s the son of Elah murdered him, as he had the very women that were with child. Pul, © king of Assyria, taking the advantage of these ing to our learned Prideaux, Belesis was one generation later:
and therefore it is supposed that this Pul was the father of Sar
danapalus, who was called Sardon with the annexation of his kingdom of the house of Israel (chap. i. 4.), and perhaps it was father's name Pul, in the same manner as Merodach king of in remembrance of this prophecy, as well as of the promise which Babylon was called Merodach-baladan, because he was the son of confined the kingdom in Jehu's family to four generations only Baladan. This Pal, therefore, was the same king of Assyria (2 Kings xv. 10.), that Shallum was encouraged to attempt the who, when Jonah preached against Nineveh, gave great tokens of life of Zechariah.— Patrick's Commentary and Poole's Anno- his humiliation and repentance. [Dr Hales thinks he was son tations,
of that king.}-Ep. The only difficulty is, that he seems to a This is a place we fiod frequent mention of in the sacred re- have marched his army from Babylon, and not from Nineveh, cords, because it was a long time the regal city of the kingdom of and yet his son and successor, we find, lived at Nineveh; but Israel, after that the ten tribes had revolted from the house of then it is suggested that, as the kings of Assyria resided someDavid. Jeroboam, who was the first king of Israel, though he times at Babylon, and sometimes at Nineveh, it is not improdwelt for some time in Shechem, in his latter days at least, hable Pul, to avoid the judgments which Jonah threatened resided here, as did all the other kings of Israel, until Omri, hav- against the latter, might remove to Babylon, where he resided ing reigned six years in Tirzah, built Samaria, and removed the the remaining part of his reign; and this made it so convenient royal seat thither, where it continued until a final period was put for him to attack the Israelites on the other side of Jordan. to that kingdom. Now the reason which induced the first kings Prideaux's Connection, anno 747, and Bedford's Scripture Chroof Israel to make Tirzah the place of residence, may be gathered nology, b. 6. from that expression in Canticles, “Thou art beautiful, O my d This shows that Menahem was a man of great weight and love, as Tirzah,' (vi. 4.) which certainly implies that Tirzah was consideration; since, notwithstanding all his violence and cruelty, a beautiful and pleasant city to dwell in. But how famous and he left the kingdom in his own family, which his two predecesbeautiful a place soever this city was, we have no certain account sors could not do. It is manifest, however, that there was a of its situation ; only it is supposed by most, that as Jeroboam was small interregnum of about a year's continuance, between his death of the tribe of Ephraim, he would naturally be inclined to make and his son's accession: for his son did not begin to reign till the choice of a place within the compass of his tribe for bis royal city: fiftieth year of Uzziah, and yet he must have been dead the year and this opinion is thought to receive confirmation from the word before, because it is said of him, (2 Kings xv.) that he began to Ephraim's being frequently used to denote the whole kingdom of reign in the thirty-ninth year of Uzziah, and reigned but ten Israel
, even because its capital city was situated in that tribe. years. There was therefore apparently an interregnum; but However this be, it is pretty plain, from the circumstances of the what the occasion of it was, it is not so well known; though there story, that the Tiphzah where Menahem exercised so much is room to suppose, that it proceeded from the interest of his succruelty, was not the town of that name which lay upon the cessor, who might raise a party to keep him out of the throne, as Euphrates, mentioned in 1 Kings iv. 21, as one of the boundaries he did afterwards to deprive him both of that and life. For, of Solomon's dominion, but some place not far from l'irzah, and according to Josephus, ' he was cut to pieces, with several of his consequently, very probably in the tribe of Ephraim.-Wells' friends about him, at a public feast, by the treasonable practices of Geography of the Old Testament, vol. 3.
Pekah, one of his principal officers, who, seizing upon the gob Josephus does not indeed make mention of this particular vernment, reigned about twenty years, and left it at last a diffiinstance of his unrelenting cruelty; but this he tells us, that, cult question to determine, " Whether he was more re markable “when he had taken the town, he put all to the sword, without for his impiety towards God, or for his injustice towards men ?!” sparing a man, woman, or child ; and that he exercised such mer- - Josephus's Antiquities, b. 9. c. 11., and Bedford's Scripture ciless rigour and inhumanity towards his own countrymen, as Chronology, b. 6. would have been unpardonable even to the worst of barbarians;" e He is supposed by some to have been the son and successor but by these methods he thought, no doubt, to terrify the whole of Sardanapalus, who restored the kingdom of Assyria, and poskingdom, so that none might dare to withstand him.---Jewish Sessed it, after it had been dismembered by Belesis and Arbaces: Antiq.b. 9. c. 11, and Patrick's Commentary.
but our learned Prideaux (who begins his excellent Connection of - This is the first time that we find any mention made of the the History of the Old and New Testament at this period) makes kingdom of Assyria, since the days of Nimrod, who erected a him to be the same with Arbaces, by Elion called Thilgamus, small principality there (Gen, x. 11.), and Pul, or Phul, is the and by Castor, Ninus Junior ; who, together with Belesis, headed first monarch of that nation who invaded Israel, and began their the conspiracy against Sardanapalus, and fixed his royal seat at transportations out of their country. Some are of opinion that he Nineveh, the ancient residence of the Assyrian kings, as Belesis, was the same with Belesis, the governor of Babylon, who, toge- who in Scripture is likewise called Baladan, (Is. xxxix. 1.) did ther with Arbaces the Mede, slew Sardanapalus, the last of the his at Babylon, and there governed his new erected mpire for Assyrian monarchs, and translated the empire to the Chaldeans. nineteen years.- Prideaux's Connection, anno 747. Our excellent Patrick seems to be confident in this. But accord- f After he had murdered his predecessor Pekah, the elders of