« 上一页继续 »
whilst living, bis enemies would prevail after his decease with Cyrus, who himself died a few years afterwards, without, however, having further interfered in the Jewish affairs.*
On the decease of that monarch, he was succeeded by his son, the tyrant Cambyses, or Ahasuerus,t to whom the Samaritans immediately wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem ; but of which he does not appear to have taken any notice.
Cambyses was succeeded by the usurper, Smerdis the Magian, or Artaxerxes,ll and to him wrote the Samaritans, or various collected nations, whom the great and noble Asnapper, or Esarhaddon, s brought over and set in the cities of Samaria ; Thy servants, the men on this side the river, and at such a time, be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and have set up the walls thereof, and joined the foundations. Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and
Baris, which is the same name by which Daniel himself calls the castle or palace at Shushan or Susa. For what we translate at Shushan in the palace, is, in the origioal, Beshushan Habirah, where no doubt the Birah of Daniel is the same with the Baris of Josephus, and hoth signify this palace or castle there built by Daniel, while he was governor of that province ; for there he did the king's business, i.e.-was governor for the king of Babylon.” Prid. i. 207, 208.
* Prid. i. 210. † Ezra, iv. 6. Prid. i. 211.
Ezra, iv. 6. § Prid. i. 211. || Ezra, iv. 7. Prid. i. 219. “ After the death of Cambyses, one of the Magi, named Oropæstus by Trogus Pompeius, Smerdis by Herodotus, Mardus by Æschylus, and Sphendatates by Ctesias, usurped the empire, feigning himself to be Smerdis, the brother of Cambyses, who had been put to death." A. Clarke.
! Ezra, iv. 10. Scott in loco. Prid. i. 55.
so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings. Now because we have maintenance from the king's palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king's dishonour, there. fore, have we sent and certified the king ; that search may be made in the book of the records of thy fathers: so shalt thou find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful unto kings and princes, and that they have moved sedition within the same of old time: for which cause was this city destroyed. We certify the king that, if this city be builded again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side the river. *
The Magian having directed the search to be made, had no difficulty in finding that Jerusalem had always been a rebellious city; and, therefore, wrote answer to the enemies of the Jews, Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me. Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings ? Upon which they went up with their companions in baste, to the Jews at Jerusalem, and made them by force and power, to cease from the work of the house of Jehovah there.
Artaxerxes, or Smerdis, having been discovered to be an impostor, I was assassinated by seven Persian nobles, one of whom, Darius, the son of Hystaspes, succeeded him upon the vacant throne.
* Ezra, iv. 7-16.
+ Ezra, iv. 17—24. # He was a Magian. Cyrus left a son of the name of Smerdis, whom Cambyses slew through envy. Smerdis the Magian had his ears cut off by Cyrus for some crime, and the nobles desired one of his women to let them know whether he had ears or not; by which they discovered that he was an impostor, and slew him. Prid. i. 218. 222. Where see how the sinful precautions of Cambyses led to his own ruin.
Prid. i. 226.
Either intimidated by the opposition they had met with, or really become indifferent to the great object of their restoration, the rebuilding of the temple, the restored Jews had rather employed themselves in building their own dwellings, and establishing their farms, and flocks, and herds, than in proceeding with that great and important work ;* wherefore, Haggai, the prophet, sent unto Zerubbabel and Jeshua, saying; Thus speaketh Jehovah of Hosts. This people say, the time is not come, the time that Jehovah's house should be builded. Then came the word of Jehovah, by Haggai, the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste? Now, therefore, thus saith Jehovah of Hosts; consider your ways. 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 no warmth; and he that earneth wages, earneth wages, to put it into a bag with holes.
Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts; consider your ways. 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 Jehovah. Ye looked for much, and lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow
upon it. Why? saith Jehovah of Hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. 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.t
Jehovah saw fit to employ the prophet Zechariah also,
* Scott in Hag. i. 2. Prid. i. 228.
+ Hag. i. 2-11.
still further to excite and alarm this torpid people, saying Jehovah hath been sore displeased with your fathers. Therefore, say thou unto them; Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith Jehovah of Hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith Jehovah of Hosts. Be
ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts: Turn ye now from your
ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith Jehovah. Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever? But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers ? and they returned and said, Like as Jehovah of Hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.
Zerubbabel and his companions having shewn a spirit of submission to the admonition of the prophets, Jehovah authorized Haggai to give them the following condescending declaration, I am with you, saith Jehovah;t and having stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and of all the remnant of the people, they proceeded in the work of the house of Jehovah of Hosts, their God. And as a further encouragement to their diligence, the same prophet was ordered to deliver that magnificent prophecy of the Messiah, which modern Jews have ever found one of the most difficult passages in the Old Testament to contend with ; Speak now to Zerubbabel, and to Jeshua, saying, Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Yet now be strong, o Zerubbabel, saith Jehovah; and be strong, O Jeshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be
* Zech, i. 2-6. + Hag. i. 13.
# Hag. i. 14.
strong, all ye people of the land, saith Jehovah, and work ; for I am with you, saith Jehovah of Hosts: according to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. For thus saith Jehovah; yet once it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land: and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith Jehovah of Hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith Jehovah of Hosts. The glory of the latter house shall be greater than the former, saith Jehovah of Hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith Jehovah of Hosts. * 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 Jehovah. Consider now from this day and upwards, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the temple of Jehovah was laid, consider it. Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, have not brought forth : from this day will I bless you.
And again the word of Jehovah came unto Haggai, in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying, Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens, and the earth ; 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. In that day, saith Jehovah of Hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith Jehovah, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith Jehovah of Hosts.
Hag. ii. 2-9. The excellent Bp. Hall has a sermon on this text,
Vol. v. 193.