it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before Jehovah, our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore, hath Jehovah watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us : for Jehovah, our God, is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.

And now, O Lord, our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt, with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly. O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain : because, for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.

Now, therefore, 0 our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mereies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God : for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.*

Whilst he was yet speaking, and praying, and confessing his sin, and the sin of his people Israel, and presenting his supplication before Jehovah, his God, for the holy mountain of his God; yea, whilst he was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom he had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched him about the time of the evening oblation: and he informed him, and

• Dan, ix, 2-19.

talked with him, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications, the commandment came forth, and I am now come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved : therefore, understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.

Know, therefore, and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah, the Prince, * shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the Prince that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary: and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week, be shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations, he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.f

A gracious God, however, who always knows how to bring good out of evil, overruled the machinations of the princes of Babylon, so as to exhibit the faith and integrity of the prophet, and by delivering him from the jaws of the hungry lions,

*That is, seventy weeks of years, or four hundred and ninety years; at which time Christ came. Prid. i. 166. See this prophecy explained and commented upon by A. Clarke. Dr. Wall, S. Clark, and Scott, and all the commentators and writers on prophecy.

+ Dan, ix. 20—27.



establish his own glory, and reinstate his faithful servant still more firmly in the confidence of his sovereign : for then it was that Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwelt in all the earth ; Peace be multiplied unto you. make a decree, that in every dominion of my kingdom, men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and steadfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions. So this Daniel prospered in the reiga of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus, the Persian.*


Upon the deaths of Cambyses, and of Darius, or Cyaxares II., which happened about the same time, Cyrus succeeded to the dominions of both those princes, thereby laying the foundation of the Medo-Persian empire; and the seventy years of the captivity foretold by Jeremiah,t having now just expired,# Jehovah, most probably by the instrumentality of Daniel, stirred up the spirit of this mighty monarch, who, no doubt, had been so elevated for that express purpose, and who issued a proclamation throughout all his kingdom. Thus saith Cyrus, king of Persia ;Jehovah, the God of Heaven, hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth ;// and

p. 267.

• Dan. vi, 4—28. + Jer. xxix. 10. Prid. i. 170. See

$ Of all the nations around Judea, the Persians alone, who restored them from the Babylonish captivity, yet remain a kingdom." Keitn, 96. Is. Ix. 12. Zech. j. 15.

|| He might well say so; for not only may we reasonably suppose he had been shewn the prophecy of Isaiab, xliv. and xlv. 1. by Daniel;

he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all bis people? His God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of Jehovah, the God of Israel, (he is the God), which is in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.*

In consequence of this proclamation, 42,360 of the captives of Judah, with 7,537 attendants, and a multitude of camels, horses, and cattle, were soon assembled together;ť to whom the noble minded monarch gave the vessels of the house of Jehovah, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and placed in the house of his gods ; # to which great treasures were added by the voluntary contribution of those of the captives who, from local connections, or other motives, were to remain behind.

Zerubbabel,ll or Sheshbazzar, the son of Salathiel, ** was appointed Tirshatha, governor tt or leader, ## of

but in point of fact, according to Xenophon," he had conquered the Syrians, Assyrians, Arabians, Cappadocians, both the Phrygians, Lydians, Carians, Phænicians, and Babylonians. Moreover he reigoed over the Bactrians, Indians, Cilicians, the Sacæ, Paphlagones, and Mariandyni.” A. CLARKE.

Ezra, i. 1–4. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22, 23. Besides this proclamation, Josephus gives a letter from Cyrus to Sisinnes and Sathra buzanes, the governors of Syria, which Whiston thinks both genuine and important to the right understanding of the history. Vol. ii. 89. + Ezra, i. 5. ii. 1-67. # Ezra, i. 7-11. § Ezra, i. 6. || Ezra, ii. 2.

Ezra, i. 8. •* “ And grandson of Jehoiachin, and thus beir of the house of David ; and as such regarded by the conquerors." Scott.

++ Ezra, ii. 63. v. 14. Prid. i. 74.

11 Ezra, iii. 2.

this interesting assembly, with Jeshua, the hereditary high priest. *

What befel them on their journey we are not informed, but on their arrival in Jerusalem they resorted to their own cities and tribes,t for several of the ten tribes always continued with and followed the good and bad fortune of the tribe of Judah;# and applied themselves to the rebuilding of their dwellings and the cultivation of their lands, which had now had the benefit of the sabbatical years,|| of which the sins of her latter monarchs had deprived her, and which was one great cause of her captivity. I

On the feast of trumpets** they all assembled at Jerusalem, and when they came to the house of Jehovah, they offered freelytt for the house of God, to set it up in his place: they gave after their ability into the treasure of the work, threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests' garments;## and there observed the great day of expiation ;&S and kept the feast of tabernacles,|| || and other festivals. TT

Of this general assembly of the people, Jeshua and Zerubbabel availed themselves to rebuild the altar of burnt offerings, which they set upon his bases, and offered burnt offerings thereon, as the best precaution they could take to protect them from their surrounding enemies.

* Prid. i. 175.

+ Prid, i. 178.
Prid. i. 175, 176. s Prid, i. 178. || Prid. i. 179.

T See note, p. 266. •. Lev. xxiii. 24 Numb. xxix. l. Prid, i, 179. ++ To the value of £75,500.; a prodigious sum in their circum

stances. Prid. i. 180.
** Ezra, ii. 68, 69. iii. 1. Prid. i. 180.

98 10 Tisri. Prid. i. 180.

All 15 Tisri. Ibid. 19 Prid. i. 180. *** Ezra, iii. 2, 3. 6. The altar stood in the middle of the inner court of the temple, exactly before the porch leading to the holy

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