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supposed by strangers to perform the ordinary duties of 19. ' A great shaking in the land.' — Most of the effects civil life-to eat, to drink, and even to sleep-without dis- attending on a tremendous earthquake are described in mounting from their steeds.'—GIBBON, ch. xxvi.
this and the ensuing verse.
of graves in Israel, the valley of the pasI God's judgment upon Gog. 8 Israel's victory. 11 sengers on the east of the sea : and it shall
Goy's burial in Hamon-gog. 17 The feast of the stop the 'noses of the passengers : and there fowls. 23. Israel, having been plagued for their shall they bury Gog and all his multitude : sins, shall be gathered again with eternal favour.
and they shall call it The valley of " 'HamonTHEREFORE, thou son of man, prophesy against gog. Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; 12 And seven months shall the house of Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief Israel be burying of them, that they may prince of Meshech and Tubal :
cleanse the land. 2 And I will turn thee back, and 'leave 13 Yea, all the people of the land shall but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee bury them; and it shall be to them a renown to come up from the north parts, and will the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord bring thee upon the mountains of Israel : God.
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left 14 And they shall sever out ''men of conhand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out | tinual employment, passing through the land of thy right hand.
to bury with the passengers those that remain 4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people the end of seven months shall they search. that is with thee : I will give thee unto the 15 And the passengers that pass through ravenous birds of every ‘sort
, and to the beasts the land, when any seeth a man's bone, then of the field 'to be devoured.
shall he "?set up a sign by it, till the buriers 5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field : for have buried it in the valley of Hamon-gog. I have spoken it, saith the Lord God.
16 And also the name of the city shall be 6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the among them that dwell ocarelessly in the land. isles : and they shall know that I am the 17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the LORD.
Lord God; Speak *unto every feathered 7 So will I make my holy name known in fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble the midst of my people Israel ; and I will not yourselves, and come ; gather yourselves on let them pollute my holy name any more: and every side to my ''sacrifice that I do sacrifice the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mounthe Holy One in Israel.
tains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and 8 9 Behold, it is come, and it is done, drink blood. saith the Lord God; this is the day whereof 18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, I have spoken.
and drink the blood of the princes of the 9 And they that dwell in the cities of earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. burn the weapons, both the shields and the 19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice 'handstaves, and the spears, and they shall which I have sacrificed for
you. 'burn them with fire seven years :
20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table 10 So that they shall take no wood out of with horses and chariots, with mighty men, the field, neither cut down any out of the and with all men of war, saith the Lord forests; for they shall burn the weapons with God. fire : and they shall spoil those that spoiled 21 And I will set my glory among the them, and rob those that robbed them, saith heathen, and all the heathen shall see my the Lord God.
judgment that I have executed, and
hand 11 And it shall come to pass in that that I have laid upon them. day, that I will give unto Gog a place there 22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and and all their trespasses whereby they have forward.
Or, strike thee with six plagues; or, draw thee back with an hook of six teeth, as chap. 38. 4. Heb, the sides of the north. 3 Heb. wing. 5 Heb. the face of the field. 6 Or, confidently.
7 Or, javelins. & Or, make a fire of them. 9 Or, mouths. 10 That is, the multitude of Gog. 11 Heb. men of continuance.
18 That is, the multitude. 14 Heb. to the forel of every wing.
15 Or, slaughter.
16 Heb. great goats.
4 Heb. to devour.
12 Heb. build.
trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely 23 And the heathen shall know that the in their land, and none made them afraid. house of Israel went into captivity for their 27 When I have brought them again from iniquity: because they trespassed against me, the people, and gathered them out of their therefore hid I my face from them, and gave enemies' lands, and "am sanctified in them them into the hand of their enemies : so fell in the sight of many nations ; they all by the sword.
28 Then shall they know that I am the 24 According to their uncleanness and Lord their God, which caused them to be according to their transgressions have I done led into captivity among the heathen : but I unto them, and hid my face from them. have gathered them unto their own land, and
25 ? Therefore thus saith the Lord God; have left none of them any more there. Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, 29 Neither will I hide
any more and have mercy upon the whole house of from them: for I have poured out my spirit Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord 26 After that they have borne their shame, God. 17 Chap, 36, 33.
18 Heb. by my causing of them, &c.
19 Joel 2. 28. Acts 2, 17.
Verse 3. “I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand? There are several other passages which intimate that the bow was the principal weapon of the people intended. So it has always been among the Scythian nations. The long Tahtar bow,' says Gibbon,' is drawn with a nervous arm; and the weighty arrow is directed to its object with unerring aim and irresistible force.' The same has been intimated in the extract, from the same author, under verse 9 of the preceding chapter. Compare also the enumeration of other articles of their military array in verse 4 of the preceding chapter, and verse 9 of this, with the following law of Genghiz Khan's time. The arms appointed are the sabre, the bow, the battle-ax, with some ropes. The officers to wear helmets and breastplates of leather or iron, or an entire coat of mail. Soldiers who can afford it are permitted to wear armour. The officers are strictly to examine the edges and points of the sabres.' This law does not mention spears or lances, which we know to have been also favourite weapons among the ancient and modern Scythians. The ‘hand-staves' in verse 9, are we suppose maces, which are also very common among them, and formidable in their hands.
9. · They shall burn them with fire seven years.'— That is to say, that the shafts or wooden parts of their weapons should be so abundant as to last the people of the land seven years for fuel. This is intended, doubtless, to convey an idea of their prodigious numbers. But it is right to add, that the inhabitants of those genial climates make but a sparing use of fuel, which will explain any difficulty the text might be supposed to offer. 11. ^ The
valley of the passengers on the east of the sea.' - The Targum, followed by many Jewish and Christian interpreters, take this sea' to have been the Lake of Gen
nesareth. The valley near this sea may have been called “The valley of passengers,' because a great number of merchants, traders, and others, from Syria and other eastern countries, passed through it, in their way to and from Egypt. We see, in Gen. xxvii. 17, 25, that the Ishmaelite merchants to whom Joseph was sold, were passing this way towards Egypt.
14. * They shall sever out men of continual employment.' - It was anciently the usual custom for the conquerors to leave the bodies of their slaughtered enemies for a prey to the birds and beasts of prey; and this custom is frequently alluded to in Scripture. When however the slain were in great numbers, and the slaughter occurred in a peopled district, bodies were often disposed of, in some way or other, by the inhabitants, out of a regard to their own safety and comfort. Thus, also, it seems that when the Jews gained a battle on a foreign field they left their slain enemies unburied, or to be buried by others; but when, as in the present instance, the event happened in their own country, we discover from these verses that they were accustomed to inter the dead : and to this the Hebrews had not only the inducement common to all people, but another, more immediately constraining, which arose from the pollution which they incurred by the contact of a dead body; and to which they could not fail to have been constantly subjected while so many corpses remained uninterred. It seems that two sets of men were employed in this business, one to seek out the bodies and to set up a mark of direction for the others, whose duty it was to inter the bodies thus found. The mark set up for this purpose would also, in the mean time, by warning passengers from the spot prevent the danger of accidental pollution.
that the city was smitten, in the selfsame day
the hand of the LORD was upon me, and 1 The time, manner, and end of the vision. 6 The description
of the east gate, 20° of the north gate, 24 brought me thither. of the south gate, 32 of the east gate, 35 and of the 2 In the visions of God brought he me into north gate. 39 Eight tables. 44 The chambers. the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high 48 The porch of the house.
mountain, 'by which was as the frame of a In the five and twentieth year of our capti- city on the south. vity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth 3 And he brought me thither, and, behold, day of the month, in the fourteenth year after there was a man, whose appearance was like I Or, upon which
the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in 16 And there were 'narrow windows to the his hand, and a measuring reed ; and he stood little chambers, and to their posts within the in the gate.
gate round about, and likewise to the 'arches : 4 And the man said unto me, Son of man, and windows were round about 'inward : and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine upon cach post were palm trees. ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall 17 Then brought he me into the outward shew thee; for to the intent that I might court, and, lo, there were chainbers, and a shew them unto thee art thou brought hither : pavement made for the court round about : declare all that thou seest to the house of thirty chambers were upon
18 And the pavement by the side of the 5 And behold a wall on the outside of the gates over against the length of the gates was house round about, and in the man's hand a
the lower pavement. measuring reed of six cubits long by the cubit 19 Then he measured the breadth from the and an hand breadth : so he measured the forefront of the lower gate unto the forefront breadth of the building, one reed ; and the of the inner court 'without, an hundred cubits height, one reed.
eastward and northward. 6 Then came he unto the gate 'which 20 4 And the gate of the outward court looketh toward the east, and went up the that looked toward the north, le measured stairs thereof, and measured the threshold of the length thereof, and the breadth thereof. the gate, which was one reed broad; and the 21 And the little chambers thereof were other threshold of the gate, which was one reed three on this side and three on that side; and broad.
the posts thereof and the 'arches thereof were 7 And every little chamber was one reed after the measure of the first gate: the length long, and one reed broad; and between the thereof was fifty cubits, and the breadth five little chambers were five cubits ; and the and twenty cubits. threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate 22 And their windows, and their arches, within was one reed.
and their palm trees, were after the measure 8 He measured also the porch of the gate of the gate that looketh toward the east: and within, one reed.
they went up unto it by seven steps ; and the 9 Then measured he the porch of the gate, arches thereof were before them. eight cubits; and the posts thereof, two cubits; 23 And the gate of the inner court was and the porch of the gate was inward. over against the gate toward the north, and
10 And the little chambers of the gate toward the east ; and he measured from gate eastward were three on this side, and three on to gate an hundred cubits. that side ; they three were of one measure : 24 9 After that he brought me toward and the posts had one measure on this side the south, and behold a gate toward the and on that side.
south : and he measured the posts thereof and 11 And he measured the breadth of the the arches thereof according to these meaentry of the gate, ten cubits; and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits.
25 And there were windows in it and in the 12 The "space also before the little cham- arches thereof round about, like those windows: bers was one cubit on this side, and the space the length was fifty cubits, and the breadth was one cubit on that side: and the little five and twenty cubits. chambers were six cubits on this side, and six 26 And there were seven steps to go up to cubits on that side.
it, and the arches thereof were before them : 13 He measured then the gate from the and it had palm trees, one on this side, and roof of one little chamber to the roof of another : another on that side, upon
thereof. the breadth was five and twenty cubits, door 27 9 And there was a gate in the inner against door.
court toward the south: and he measured from 14 He made also posts of threescore cubits, gate to gate toward the south an hundred even unto the post of the court round about cubits.
28 And he brought me to the inner court 15 And from the face of the gate of the by the south gate : and he measured the south entrance unto the face of the porch of the gate according to these measures ; inner gate were fifty cubits.
29 And the little chambers thereof, and
2 Heb. whose face was the way toward the east. 3 Or, galleries, or, porches. 6 Or, within. 7 Or, from without.
3 Heb. limit, or, bound.
8 Heb. whose face was.
4 Ileb. closed. 9 Or, galleries, or, porches.
the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, tables; and on the other side, which was at according to these measures : and there were the porch of the gate, were two tables. windows in it and in the arches thereof round 41 Four tables were on this side, and four about: it was fifty cubits long, and five and tables on that side, by the side of the gate; twenty cubits broad.
eight tables, whereupon they slew their sacri30 And the arches round about were five fices. and twenty cubits long, and five cubits 42 And the four tables were of hewn stone 10 broad.
for the burnt offering, of a cubit and an half 31 And the arches thereof were toward the long, and a cubit and an half broad, and one utter court; and palm trees were upon the cubit high: whereupon also they laid the inposts thereof: and the going up to it had struments wherewith they slew the burnt offereight steps.
ing and the sacrifice. 32 TAnd he brought me into the inner 43 And within were hooks, an hand broad, court toward the east : and he measured the fastened round about: and upon the tables gate according to these measures.
was the flesh of the offering. 33 And the little chambers thereof, and 44 | And without the inner gate were the the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, were chambers, of the singers in the inner court, according to these measures: and there were which was at the side of the north gate; and windows therein and in the arches thereof their prospect was toward the south: one at round about: it was fifty cubits long, and five the side of the east gate having the prospect and twenty cubits broad.
toward the north. 34 And the arches thereof were toward the 45 And he said unto me, This chamber, outward court; and palm trees were upon the whose prospect is toward the south, is for posts thereof, on this side, and on that side: the priests, the keepers of the charge of the and the going up to it had eight steps.
house. 35 1 And he brought me to the north 46 And the chamber whose prospect is gate, and measured it according to these toward the north is for the priests, the measures ;
keepers of the charge of the altar: these are 36 The little chambers thereof, the posts the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi, thereof, and the arches thereof, and the win- | which come near to the LORD to minister unto dows to it round about: the length was fifty him. cubits, and the breadth five and twenty 47 So he measured the court, an hundred cubits.
cubits long, and an hundred cubits broad, 37 And the posts thereof were toward the foursquare; and the altar that was before the utter court; and palm trees were upon the house. posts thereof, on this side, and on that side : 48 4 And he brought me to the porch of and the going up to it had eight steps. the house, and measured each post of the
38 And the chambers and the entries porch, five cubits on this side, and five cubits thereof were by the posts of the gates, where on that side: and the breadth of the gate was they washed the burnt offering.
three cubits on this side, and three cubits on 39 4 And in the porch of the gate were
that side. two tables on this side, and two tables on that 49 The length of the porch was twenty side, to slay thereon the burnt offering and cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits; and he the sin offering and the trespass offering. brought me by the steps whereby they went up
40 And at the side without, "as one goeth to it: and there were pillars by the posts, one up to the entry of the north gate, were two on this side, and another on that side. 11 Or, at the step.
13 Or, ward, or, ordinance : and so verse 46.
10 Heb. breadthe
19 Or, end irons, or, the two hearth-stones.
CHAPS. XL.-XLVIII. We have mentioned, in the Introduction, the great and acknowledged difficulty involved in the obscure vision contained in these chapters. For this reason the Hebrews forbade this portion of Scripture to be read by persons under thirty years of age; and many Christian expositors have abstained altogether from comment. We do not approve of this, being persuaded that «ull Scripture is profitable. But as we should despair of giving a satisfactory explanation of all the details, and as the attempt would occupy more room than a regard
to our limits would allow us to spare for the subject, we shall confine our attention to a few detached passages which offer occasion for such remarks as we have been accustomed to give.
One of the great difficulties in this description is to understand its design. Perhaps none of the numerous conjectures which have been offered are entirely satis. factory, and we are not disposed to add to the number. A very common explanation is, that, as the temple and city were overthrown, and the ecclesiastical and civil polity of the Hebrews destroyed, these chapters were written to of the nation remained behind, the two explanations virinstruct them in what they were to do on their return tually coincide. Bennet says: ‘Notwithstanding that at from captivity, and in particular to give them such a de- the period of the erection of the second temple, the house tailed description as might enable them to build another of Israel was rich in the possession of men skilled in temple, similar in form and dimensions to that of Solomon. divinity and jurisprudence, and eminent for heroism, yet It is under this explanation that the writers who have it was far from distinguished for pecuniary wealth. As attempted to give us an account of Solomon's temple, have the population increased, and the territory improved, freely availed themselves of the present chapters to com- there arose a necessity for many public works, such as plete their descriptions.
aqueducts, fortresses to secure them from the annoyance It would however be difficult to shew that the temple of their jealous neighbours, and arsenals with magazines of Zerubbabel answered to this description, or that it found of warlike stores. These were supplied at considerable a more complete fulfilment in the temple which, as recon- expense, consisting principally of body-armour, of which structed and enriched by Herod, existed in the time of our we are told they possessed great abundance. These burSaviour, and is described by Josephus and the Rabbins : dens necessarily increased with their increasing population and even allowing that the later temple did, in essential and prosperity, and extended defensive warfare became matters, correspond to this representation, it is certain necessary in proportion as their growing importance drew that the division of the land was not the same after the upon them the envy and the fears of their neighbours. return from the Exile, as is here prescribed, nor the gover- Abundant proof of this may be seen in the books of the nors and civil polity those which are here directed. On Maccabees, in Josephus, Philo, and others, from whom these grounds the Jews themselves admit that the direc- we learn, that from the time of the re-establishment of the tions given in these chapters have not hitherto been fol. second temple, the Hebrews were engaged in continual lowed, although the Mishnah alleges that the second hostilities with the neighbouring Greeks and Arabians; temple was an intended imitation of that described by and, finally, in the long and uninterrupted war with the Ezekiel, so far as the means of carrying it out allowed. Romans which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem by They believe, however, that many things which these Titus Vespasian. These reasons will be considered, Í chapters contain cannot be understood till Elias (whom hope, as a sufficient explanation, why the temple was not they still expect) shall come and explain them; and that completed according to original intention; which the the temple here described will not be built, nor the regu- Judeans had neither the means, nor the opportunity, of lations take effect, until the Messiah comes, to whose ad- effecting.' vent they still look forward. Some Christian writers Verse 3. • A line of flax .... and a measuring reed? – have been disposed to apply the whole to the condition of The former for measuring large dimensions, and the latter the Jews under a future restoration to their own land and for those of inferior magnitude. privileged condition; while others interpret the whole 16. Arches.' — The marginal reading, galleries, or with a mystical application to the church of Christ. We porches,' as understood of a covered walk with pillars, cannot enter into these explanations; but the reader will is that which most interpreters seem to prefer. We are be glad to see the observations of Professor Dathe, as ap- not, upon the whole, disposed to contest this preference; plying to what we have stated as the more common ex- but there is one reason adduced in support of it, from planation, and as meeting the objections to which that which we are obliged to withhold our assent: this is, that explanation is open. His opinion, which he submits with the arch is a comparatively late invention and could not diffidence to the consideration of others, is, that the passage have been known to the Hebrews. Now as this reason does not contain a prophecy, nor does it predict any involves the conclusion that no arches appeared in the future event; but it describes what ought to have been public or private constructions of the Hebrews, though done, if the whole Jewish people, consisting of all the they abound in modern Oriental architecture, a question tribes, had returned from captivity to their own country. of some interest is suggested by the occurrence of the word Liberty was granted to all, and all had it in their power here, which we may be expected to notice briefly, without to return. God now orders, by the mouth of his prophet, its being necessary to shew that the word is in the present what should be the nature and character of his worship, instance properly used. and what division of the country should take place between One of the arguments that was employed against the the different tribes. There is nothing in the whole de- early antiquity of the arch, was its alleged absence from scription which might not have been carried into effect, the more ancient architecture of the Egyptians. If thereprovided that all of them had returned, and taken pose fore we can shew that this impression is incorrect, and session of the land, which God granted to them. In this that the more ancient Egyptians were acquainted with the new possession of the Promised Land, which God offered principle of the arch and did employ it in their constructo his people, the same thing happened as on a former tions, we suppose it will no longer be contended that it occasion, when they entered into the land, which they had was unknown to the Jews, who had so much intercourse so long desired, under their leader Joshua. The division with Egypt. Belzoni was decidedly of opinion that he which then took place was very different from that which had found Egyptian arches of very remote antiquity, and ought to have been made, according to the will of God; gives the specimens which we have copied ; but his evifor the sloth and cowardice of the people, dreading a pro- dence on the subject is less conclusive than that which tracted war, was the reason why a great part of the has since been supplied by Wilkinsou, and others. country was allowed to remain in possession of the first It is shewn by Sir J. G. Wilkinson that the arch existed inhabitants; and the same baseness of disposition, or love in brick in the reign of Amenoph I., as early as B.c. 1540; of present advantage, now detained them where they were; and in stone in the time of the second Psamaticus, B.C. 600. so that they chose rather to live as exiles among the This evidence is derived from the ascertained date of nations, than to return to their own country, which was arches now actually existing; but the paintings at Beninow either laid waste or occupied by others. This view Hassan afford ground for the conclusion that vaulted receives much corroboration from the undoubted fact, buildings were constructed in Egypt as early as the reign that the decree of Cyrus allowed the temple to be much of Osirtasen I., who is presumed to have been contempolarger than that which was actually built, and which, rary with Joseph. Indeed, although the evidence from therefore, it was intended to build, had the means been facts does not ascend beyond this, the evidence from provided. See the note on Ezra vi. 3. The Jewish view, analogy and probability can be carried back to about B.c. as set forth by Solomon Bennet in his curious work on 2020 (Ancient Egyptians, ii. 116 ; iii. 316). Wilkinson the Temple of Ezekiel, 1824, agrees substantially with suggests the probability that the arch owed its invention this-namely, that the insufficient means of the people who to the small quantity of wood in Egypt, and the conse returned from exile prevented the original intention from quent expense of roofing with timber. The proofs may being fulfilled ; and as this insufficiency arose from the be thus arranged in chronological order :fact that the wealthiest, noblest, and most numerous part The evidence that arches were known in the time of