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6. The sea coast," &c.-See the previous note on Ascalon, under Judges xiv. A more striking corroboration of the Divine prediction could not be given than is supplied in the account which Volney gives of the modern state of the coasts of Philistia. "In the plain between Ramla and Gaza, we meet with a number of villages, badly built, of dried mud, and which, like their inhabitants, exhibit every mark of poverty and wretchedness. The houses, on a nearer view, are only so many huts, sometimes detached, and sometimes arranged in the form of cells around a court-yard enclosed by a mud wall. In winter they and their cattle may be said to live together, the part of the dwelling allotted to them being only raised two feet above that in which they lodge their beasts. The peasants are by this means kept warm without burning wood; an economy indispensable in a country absolutely destitute of fuel. The fires needed for culinary purposes are made of dung, kneaded into cakes and dried in the sun." In summer their lodging is more airy; but all their furniture consists of a single mat, and a pitcher for drinking. The environs of these villages are sown, at the proper season, with grain and water melons; all the rest is a desert, and abandoned to the Bedouin Arabs, who feed their flocks on it." "Travels,' ii. 281, 282.
13. "Will make Nineveh a desolation," &c.—How Nineveh was made a desolation has been shown in the notes on Nahum. The desolation in which it still remains will sufficiently appear from a foregoing engraving.
We have already mentioned that the earliest of the Greek writers who mention Nineveh, wrote a good while after that city was destroyed; and from the manner in which they indicate its situation, and the discrepancies between them, it almost appears uncertain whether they were acquainted with its position. Indeed, Lucian, who lived in the second century after Christ, distinctly avows, that so utterly had Nineveh been destroyed, that no vestige of it remained, nor could it be easily ascertained where it had once stood. There is indeed no ground on which to feel positively certain as to the site of Nineveh; and this uncertainty is itself a most striking corroboration of Scripture prophecy. But there is considerable probability in the now generally received opinion which finds the site of Nineveh on the eastern bank of the Tigris, opposite Mousul, where the site of an extensive ancient city may be traced by such earth-covered hills and ridges of ruin as now mark the place of Babylon and other ancient towns of Assyria and Chaldea. The longcontinued state of desolation in which Nineveh has remained for ages might be illustrated from the successive notices of various travellers and historians. Thus, we are told of an occasion (in A.D. 627) when the emperor Heraclius defeated the Persians in a great action fought on the convenient battle-field offered by the vacant site of Nineveh (Gibbon, ch. xlvi). Benjamin of Tudela says that Al-Mutsal (Mousul) was separated only by a bridge from the ancient Nineveh: but Nineveh was utterly destroyed, although there were some streets and many castles within the ancient circuit-meaning, of course, modern erections within the limits of the ancient city. Haitho, the Armenian, (about 1300 A.D.) also mentions Nineveh as lying in total ruin. Our own "Master John Cartwright," who was there in the latter part of the sixteenth century, after giving the substance of the ancient accounts of the great Nineveh, adds, “Now it is destroyed (as God foretold it should bee by the Chaldeans), being nothing else than a sepulchre of her selfe." In a later age, Thevenot mentioned the great extent of its ruins; and Tavernier described the remains as "a heap of rubbish only." Such still is the site of Nineveh. Kinneir says, "I examined these remains in November, 1810, and found them to consist of a rampart and fosse, forming an oblong square, not exceeding four miles in compass, if so much. I saw neither stones nor rubbish of any kind. The wall is, on an average, twenty feet high; and as it is covered with grass, the whole has a striking resemblance to some of the Roman entrenchments which are extant in England." (Geographical Memoir of the Persian Empire, p. 250.) More complete accounts have recently been furnished by Buckingham and Rich.
If the prolonged mounds, mentioned by Kinneir, and disposed in the form of a square, were walls, as he supposes, it is clear that they could not have been the city walls; but must have belonged to the citadel or the palace and its enclosures. The dimensions of the square as given by Kinneir appear to be much too small; however, these mounds do not by any means form the only indications of ancient ruin, for there are appearances of mounds and ruins extending for several miles to the southward, and still more distinctly seen to the northward of this, though both are less marked than the mounds of the centre. The alleged tomb of Jonah is on the southernmost of these central mounds, which extends nearly east and west from the neighbourhood of the river. A Mohammedan village has been formed around the tomb. It appears that, where openings are made in the soil-covered mounds, sections of sun-dried brickwork are exposed; and some important conclusions might perhaps be deduced from more extended researches. The space between and about the central mounds is a level plain, over every part of which broken pottery, and the other usual debris of ruined cities in this region, are seen scattered about. Buckingham thus speaks of the view over the site obtained from the most northern of the central mounds: "As far as I could perceive, from our elevated point of view, on the highest summit of Tel Ninoa, there were mounds of ruins similar to those near us, but less distinctly marked, as far as the eye could reach to the northward; and the plain to the eastward of us, or between the river and the mountains, had a mixture of large brown patches, like heaps of rubbish, seen at intervals, scattered over a cultivated soil.” The low grounds near the river, where not cultivated, are covered to a considerable extent with tamarisk bushes. Mr. Rich holds that it is impossible to determine what part of the site was occupied by the ancient Nineveh, observing that, "In such a country it is not easy to say what are ruins and what are not; what is art, converted by the lapse of ages into a semblance of nature, and what is merely nature broken by the hand of time into ruins approaching in their appearance those of art." One remarkable circumstance is, that the remains obtained from the mounds are very similar to those afforded by the mounds of Babylon; and this even to fragments of cuneiform inscriptions on stone, resembling in every respect those which Babylon offers. Mr. Rich arrived at one important conclusion, which was, that all the remains belonged to the same age and character; but, as he adds, Whether they belonged to Nineveh or some other city is another question, and one not so easily determined."
1 A sharp reproof of Jerusalem for divers sins.
Israel, 14 and to rejoice for their salvation by
WOE to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!
2 She obeyed not the voice; she received
not correction; she trusted not in the LORD: she drew not near to her God.
3 Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.
4 Her 'prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done 'violence to the law.
1 Or, gluttonous. * Heb. craw. Or, instruction. 4 Ezrk. 22. 27 Micah 3.9, 10. 5 Jer. 23. 11. Hos. 9.7. 6 Ezek. 22. 26.
17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; "he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
18 I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.
19 Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land "where they have been put to shame.
20 At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the
! I will also leave in the midst of thee LORD.
7 Heb. morning by morning. 8 Or, corners. Chap. 1. 18. 13 Isa. 12. 6, and 54. l. 14 Or, faint. 15 Heb. he will be silent. Is Heb. I will set them for a praise.
10 Heb. lip. 11 Heb. shoulder. 18 Heb. in my holy. 16 Heb. the burden upon it was reproach. 17 Micah 4. 7. 19 Heb. of their shame.
1 Haggai reproveth the people for neglecting the building of the house. 7 He inciteth them to the building. 12 He promiseth God's assistance to them being forward.
N the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD 'by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,
2 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD's house should be built.
5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
1 Heb. by the hand of Haggai.
7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
8 Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.
9 Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. 10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.
11 And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.
12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD.
13 Then spake Haggai the LORD's messenger in the LORD's message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD.
14 And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,
15 In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
Deut. 28. 38. Mic. 6. 14, 15. 7 Deut. 28. 23.
Or, captain. Heb. pierced through. HAGGAI.-There is no doubt concerning the date of this prophecy, which is given with much precision in the first verse; and from which, as well as from the book of Ezra (iv. 24), we learn that it was delivered after the Jews had returned to Jerusalem from their captivity, to stimulate and encourage them in the rebuilding of the temple. Bishop Lowth considers the style of Haggai's prophecy to be altogether prosaic; but Archbishop Newcome's translation proceeds on the idea that the greater part of it admits of a metrical division.
Haggai was probably born at Babylon, or in one of the towns in which the Hebrew captives were placed by the Babylonians. We know not when or where he died: the pseudo-Epiphanius says at Jerusalem, which is probable; and he adds, that he was buried among the priests: but the Cippi Hebraici place his sepulchre in a cave on the declivity of the mount of Olives. But whatever, in this and other instances, we state on these authorities, we regard as very uncertain.
Heb. Set your heart on your ways.
meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No.
13 Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean.
10 In the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,
11 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying,
12 If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any
1 Heb. by the hand of.
14 Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the LORD; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean.
15 And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the LORD: 16 Since those days were, when one came to an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten: when one came to the pressfat for to draw out fifty vessels out of the press, there were but twenty.
17 I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD.
18 Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the LORD's temple was laid, consider it.
19 Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.
20 And again the word of the LORD came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying,
21 Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth;
22 And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.
23 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.
2 Heb. 12. 26.
3 Amos 4.9.
Verse 7. "The desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory."-Many Jewish and some Christian interpreters understand the clause, rendered "the desire of all nations," to mean not a person, but things-the desirable things of all nations-their wealth, their treasure, and productions, which should be brought to adorn and glorify the second house. It does indeed appear, from the account of the valuable things taken away by Antiochus (1 Macc. i. 21, 22), that this temple did become very rich: and still more so, when, in a later age, Herod expended immense sums in rebuilding, improving, and ornamenting the sacred structure-producing the temple which stood in the time of our Saviour, and which was destroyed by Titus; and of which Josephus says that with respect to magnitude, building, and 2 s 313