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The final destruction
of Jerusalem, approved of the whole that a book of remembrance was a tender father would act towards his most loving and written before the Lord—all their names were care- obedient son. 'fully registered in heaven. Here is an allusion to Verse 18. Then shall ye return] To your senses, records kept by. kings, Esth. vi. 1, of such as had when perhaps too late ; and discern-see the differperformed signal services, and who should be the first ence whieh God makes, between the righteous and the to be rewarded.
wicked, which will be most marked and awful. Verse 17. They shall be mine] I will acknowledge Between him that serveth God! Your obedience them as my subjects and followers ; in the day; espe- to whom, ye said, would be unprofitable to you. cially, when I come to punish the wicked and reward And him that serveth him not.] Of whom ye said, the righteous.
his disobedience would be no prejudice to him. You When I make up my jewels) obao segullạh, my will find the former received into the kingdom of glory; peculium, my proper treasure; that which is a man's and the latter, with yourselves, thrust down into the bitter own, and most prized by him. Not jewels; for in no pains of an eternal death. Reader, ponder these things. part of the Bible does the word mean a gem or pre- In the great day of the Lord, at least, if not long cious stone of any kind. The interpretations frequently before, it will be fully discovered who have been the given of the word in this verse, comparing saints to truly wise people ; those who took up their cross and jewels, are forced and false.
followed Christ; or those who satisfied the flesh, with I will spare them] When I come to visit the wicked, its affections and desires, following a multitude to I will take care of them. I will act towards them as I do evil.
CHAPTER IV. God's awful judgments on the wicked, 1., Great blessedness of the righteous, 2, 3. The prophet then, with . a solemnity becoming the last of the prophets, closes the Sacred Canon with enjoining the strict observance
of the law till the forerunner already promised should appear, in the spirit of Elijah, to introduce the Messiah, and begin a new and everlasting dispensation, 4-6. A. M. cir. 3607.
A. M. cir. 3607. B. C. cir. 397. FOR behold, a the day cometh, 2 But unto you that e fear my B. C. cir. 397. Ol. cir. XCV. 4. that shall burn as an oven ; name shall the Sun of right. 01. cir. XCV. 4. Urbis Condite
Urbis Conditæ and all b the proud, yea, and all eousness arise with healing in his. cir. annum
that do wickedly, shall be o stub- wings; and ye shall go forth, and ble: and the day that cometh shall burn them grow up as calves of the stall. up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall a leave 3 8 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for them neither root nor branch.
they shall be ashes under the soles of your Joel ii. 31 ; chap. iii. 2; 2 Pet. ii. 7.- b Chap. ii. 18. | Luke i, 78; Epł:. v. 14; Pet. i. 19; Rev. ii. 28.-2 Sam. c Obad. 18. - Amos ii. 9.- Chap. iii. 16.
xxvii. 43; Mic. vii. 10; Zech. x. 5. NOTES ON CHAP. IV.
everywhere invigorating the seeds of righteousness, Verse 1. Behold, the day cometh, that shall burn and withering and drying up the seeds of sin. The as an oven] The destruction of Jerusalem by the rays of this Sun are the truths of his Gospel, and the Romans.
influences of his Spirit. And at present these are And all the proud] This is in reference to ver. 15 universally diffused. of the preceding chapter.
And ye shall go forth] Ye who believe on his The day that cometh shall burn them up] Either name shall go forth out of Jerusalem when the Romans by famine, by sword, or by captivity. All those rebels shall come up against it. After Cestius Gallus had shall be destroyed,
blockaded the city for some days, he suddenly raised It shall leave them neither root nor branch.) A the siege. The Christians who were then in it, knowproverbial expression for total destruction. Neither ing, by seeing Jerusalem encompassed with armies, man nor child shall escape.
that the day of its destruction was come, when their Verse 2. You that fear my name] The persons Lord commanded them to fee into the mountains, took mentioned in the sixteenth verse of the preceding this opportunity to escape from Jerusalem, and go to chapter ; ye that look for redemption through the Pella, in Cælesyria ; so that no Christian life fell in Messiah.
the siege and destruction of this city. The Sun of righteousness) The Lord Jesus, the But these words are of more general application and promised Messiah ; the Hope of Israel.
meaning ; " ye shall go forth” in all the occupations With healing in his wings] As the sun, by the rays of life, but particularly in the means of grace;
andof light and heat, revives, cheers, and fructifies the Grow up as calves of the stall] Full of health, of whole creation, giving, through God, light and life life, and spirits ; satisfied and happy. everywhere; so Jesus Christ, by the influences of his Verse 3. Ye shall tread down] This may be the grace and Spirit, shall quicken, awaken, enlighten, commission given to the Romans : Tread down the warm, invigorate, heal, purify, and refine every soul wicked people, tread down the wicked place; set it that believes in him ; and, by his wings or rays, dif- on fire, and let the ashes be trodden down under fuse these blessings from one end of heaven to another; your feet.
The glorious advent
of Christ. 4. M. cir. 3607 feet in the day that I shall do phet m before the coming of the 4 M. cir. 3607. Ol. cir. XCV. 4. this, saith the Lord of hosts. great and dreadful day of the Ol
. cir. XCV. 4. Urbis Conditse
Urbis Conditæ 4. Remember ye the law of LORD:
cir, annum Moses
356. my servant, which I com- 6 And n he shall turn the heart manded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with of the fathers to the children, and the heart of k the statutes and judgments.
the children to their fathers, lest I come and 5 Behold, I will send you ? Elijah the pro-smite the earth with Pa curse. Exod. xx. 3, &c. -i Deut. iv. 10. Psa. cxlvii. 19. m Joel ii. 31. -- Ecclus. xlviii. 10.- - Zech. xiv. 12. Matt. xi. 14; xvii: 11; Mark ix. Il ; Luke i. 17..
PZech. v.3. Verse 4. Remember ye the law of Moses) Where has ascended on high; he has sent forth his Holy Spirit ; all these things are predicted. The Septuagint, Ara- he has commissioned his ministers to proclaim to all manbic, and Coplic, place this verse the last.
kind redemption in his blood; and he is ever present with Verse 5. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet] them, and is filling the earth with righteousness and true This is meant alone of John the Baptist, as we learn holiness. Hallelujah! The kingdoms of this world from Luke i. 17, (where see the note,) in whose spirit are about to become the kingdoms of Gods and our Lord and power he came.
Jesus! And now, having just arrived at the end of my Verse 6. And he shall turn (convert) the heart of race in this work, and seeing the wonderful extension of the fathers (5 al, with) the children] Or, together. the work of God in the earth, my heart prays :with the children.; both old and young. Lest I come, O Jesus, ride on, till all are subdued, and, finding them unconverted, smite the land with a Thy mercy make known, and sprinkle thy blood; curse, Din cherem, utter extinction. So we find Display thy salvation, and teach the new song, that, had the Jews turned to God, and received the To every nation, and people, and tongue ! Messiah at the preaching of John the Baptist and that In most MSS. and printed Masoretic Bibles there of Christ and his apostles, the awful On cherem of are only three chapters in this prophet, the fourth final excision and execration would not have been ex- being joined to the third, making it twenty-four Ferses. ecuted upon them. However, they filled up the cup In the Jewish reckonings the Twelve Minor Proof their iniquity, and were reprobated, and the Gentiles phets make but one book; hence there is no Masoretic elected in their stead. Thus, the last was first, and note found at the end of any of the preceding prophets, the first was last. Glory to God for his unspeakable gift! with accounts of its verses, sections, &c.; but, at the
There are three remarkable predictions in this end of Malachi we find the following table, which, chapter :-1. The advent of John Baptist, in the spirit though it gives the number of verses in each prophet, and authority of Elijah. 2. The manifestation of Christ yet gives the total sum, middle verse, and sections, at in the flesh, under the emblem of the Sun of right- the end of Malachi, thereby showing that they consider eousness. 3. The final destruction of Jerusalem, the whole twelve as constituting but one book represented under the emblem of a burning oven, con
MASORETIC NOTES suming every thing cast into it. These three pro
On the Twelve Minor Prophets. phecies, relating to the most important facts that have
197 verses ever taken place in the history of the world, announced
73 here nearly four thousand years before their occur
146 rence, have been most circumstantially fulfilled.
21 In most of the Masoretic Bibles the fifth verse is
48 repeated after the sixth—"Behold, I send unto you
105 Elijah the prophet, before the great and terrible day
57 of Jehovah come;" for the Jews do not like to let their
53 sacred book end with a curse; and hence, in reading,
56 they immediately subjoin the above verse, or else the
38 fourth—“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant."
211 In one of my oldest MSS. the fifth verse is repeated,
55 and written at full length : “ Behold, I send you Eli- The sum of all the verses of the Twelve Minor Projah the prophet, before the coming of the great and
phets is 1060. dreadful day of the Lord.” In another, only these The middle. verse is Micah, chap. iii. ver. 12. words are added : “Behold, I will send you Elijah.”
Number of Sections, 21. It is on this ground that the Jews expect the reap- To God the FATHER, SON, AND Holy Ghost, BE pearance of Elijah the prophet; and at their marriage
AMEN. feasts always set a chair and knife and fork for this 'I have this day completed this Commentary, on prophet, whom they suppose to be invisibly present. which I have laboured above thirty years; and which, But we have already seen that John the Baptist, the when I began, I never expected to live long enough forerunner of our Lord, was the person designed; for to finish. May it be a means of securing glory to he came in the spirit and power of Elijah, (see on chap. God in the highest, and peace and good will among ii. 1,) and has fulfilled this prophetic promise. John men upon earth! Amen, Amen. · ADAM CLARKE. is come, and the Lord Jesus has come also ; he has Heydon Hall, Middlesex, shed his blood for the salvation of a lost world; he | Monday, March 28, A. D. 1825.
ÉPITOME OF THE JEWISH HISTORY
TIME OF NEHEMIAH AND MALACHI TO THE BIRTH OF CHRIST,
FILLING UP THE CHASM BETWEEN
THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.
As many have wished to see an epitome of the Jewish usurp the high-priest's office by virtue of the governor's con history, from the days of the prophet Malachi to the advent mission, B. Č. 366,) was attended with this bad consequenceof Christ, in order to connect the history of the Old and New that Bagoses, hearing of the murder, came in great wrath to Testaments, I have prepared the following, which, in such a Jerusalem, and laid a heavy fine upon the nation, which lasted work as this, is as much as should be expected.
seven years, or during the whole of his government. On all hands Malachi is allowed to have been the last pro- Artaxerxes Mnemon died B. C. 359, with grief at the bruphet under the Old Testament; and he flourished about four tality of his son Ochus, who had so terrified his eldest brother hundred and nine years before the coming of Christ, accord- Ariaspes, that he poisoned himself, and had his younger broing to the commonly received chronology; and Nehemiah, ther Harpates assassinated. So that Ochus succeeded to the who was contemporary with him, was the last of those civil dignity and empire of his father. • governors appointed by God himself. His last act of refor- In the third year of Ochus, about 356 before Christ, Alexmation is fired by Prideaux, B. C. 409; soon after which it ander the Great was born at Pella in Macedonia. Ochus, is supposed that he died, as at this time he could not be having reigned twenty-one years, was poisoned by his favourite less than serenty years of age. For the administration of Bagoas, in hopes of getting the whole government into ķis affairs in his times and in those of Ezra, whom he succeeded own hands, and to put the crown on the head of Arses, his m the government of Judea, the reader is referred to the notes youngest son, whom he also poisoned soon after, and raised on Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel.
Codomannus, a distant relation of the late king, to the throne. We have seen, in the book of Nehemiah, that, on the return This new king took the name of Darius; and when Bagoas of the Jews from the Chaldean captivity, many of them brought had also prepared a poisonous draught for him, he obliged strange wives and a spurious offspring with them, and refusing Bagoas to drink it himself; by which means he saved his own to put them away, were banished by Nehemiah, and went and life, and punished the traitor. settled in Samaria. Among those exiles there was a son of It was about the year B. C. 336 that Alexander the Great Jehoiada, the high priest, named Manasseh, who had married succeeded to the kingdom of Macedon, on the death of his the daughter of Sanballat the Horonite, and put himself under father Philip, who was slain by the noble Macedonian Pauthe protection of his father-in-law, who was governor of the sanias, as he celebrated the marriage of his daughter with place. After the death of Nehemiah, Sanballat obtained a Alexander, king of Epirus, before he set out upon the Grecian grant from Darius to build a temple on Mount Gerizim, near expedition against Persia, being chosen captain-general of the Samaria, of which he made Manassch, his son-in-law, high united forces of Greece. priest. This temple was begun to be built B. C. 408.
Alexanıler also succeeded to that command by a new elecFrom the building of this temple, Samaria became the tion. In one campaign he overran all Asia Minor; vanrefuge of all refractory Jews : and though by this means the quished Darius in two battles; took his mother, wife, and old superstition of the land was reformed to the worship of children prisoners; and subdued all Syria as far as Tyre, B. the God of Israel, they of Jerusalem would never consider C. 332. the Samaritan Jews otherwise than apostates. On the other During the seige of Tyre, he demanded the submission of hand, the Samaritans maintained that Mount Gerizim was the neighbouring provinces of Galilee, Samaria, and Judea. the only proper place for the worship of God. This people The two former submitted to him ; but Judea would not rejected all traditions, and adhered only to the written word renounce their allegiance to Darius so long as he lived. This contained in the five books of Moses.
brought upon them the wrath of the conqueror; who, having Nehemiah's death was also attended with a change of the taken Tyre, by carrying a bank from the continent through Jcurish government at Jerusalem. Judea had no longer a the sea to the island on which the city stood, and burned it governor of its own. It was united to the prefecture of Syria; down to the ground, destroyed and slew all the inhabitants in the rulers of which committed the administration of both civil a barbarous manner, both in the sackage of the town, and and ecclesiastical affairs to the high priest for the time being. afterwards in cold blood; and then marched to Jerusalem to
By this means the high priesthood became an office under wreak his vengeance upon the Jews. Upon his approach, and the heathen; and towards the latter end of Artaxerres the report of his having crucified two thousand of the Tyrian Mnemon's reign, B. C. 405, who succeeded his father Darius prisoners, the high priest Jadoua and all the city were under Nothus, B. C. 423, the office was conferred by the governor | dreadful apprehensions. They had nothing but God's protecof Syria and Phænicia. For Bagoses, the governor, took tion to depend upon. They fasted and prayed: and God in a upon himself to displace Johanan the high priest, in favour vision directed the high priest to go in his pontifical robes, of the said priest's brother Joshua ; which nomination, though attended by the priests in their proper habits, and all the peoit did not take place, (for Johanan slew his brother Joshua in ple in white garments, and meet Alexander out of the city. the inner court of the temple, as he endeavoured by force to As soon as Alexander saw this procession moving towards Epitome of the Jewish History from the time of him, and the high priest in the front, he was overawed, drew Ptolemy Soter was succeeded by his son Ptolemy Philanear, bowed down, and saluted him in a religious manner; delphus, B. C. 285, who completed the college or muscuta alleging that he did so in regard to that God whose priest he of learned men, and the famous library at Alexandria in Egypt, was; adding, moreover, that the high priest so habited had which was begun by his father, and contained seven hundred appeared to him in a dream at Dio in Macedonia, assuring him thousand volumes, and placed in that library an authentic of success against the Persians.
translation of the book of the law. This translation was Jaddua conducted him into the city; and, having offered sa- finished under the inspection of Eleazar the high priest, and crifices in the temple, showed him the prophecies of Daniel, con- is called the Septuagint, on account of the joint labour of cerning the overthrow of the Persian empire by a Grecian king seventy-two translators employed in it, B. C. 254.
Alexander was well satisfied with his reception at Jerusa- Ptolemy Philadelphys died in the thirty-ninth year of his lem; and at his departure granted the Jeus a toleration of reign, and in the sixty-third of his age, B. C. 247. He was their religion, and an exemption from tribute every seventh a learned prince, and a great patron of learning ; so that men year. And the Jews were so well pleased with the conqueror's of learping flocked to his court from all parts, and partook of behaviour, that, upon his signifying that he would receive as his favour and bounty. Among these were the poets Theo inany of them as would enlist into his service, great multitudes crilus, Callimachus, Lycophron, and Aratus, and Manetko, entered under his banner, and followed him in his other expe- the Egyptian historian. ditions
B, C. 247, Ptolemy Energetes succeeded his father PtoleThe Samaritans met him with great pomp and parade, as my in Egypt. He found Onias, the son of Simon the Jus!, he left Jerusalem, and invited him to their city. But Aler- in the pontificate at Jerusalem, who was very old, weak, inconander deferred both the invitation, and petition for certain siderate, and covetous. And Energetes, perceiving that the privilegcs, till his return from Egypt; and left his favourite high priest had for many years kept back the annual tribute, Andromachus governor of Syria and Palestine.
sent one Athenion, an officer at court, to Jerusalem, to deAndromachus, coming some time after to Samaria upon mand it, being a very large sum, with threats of sending an business, was burned to death in his house, as it was thought army to dispossess them of the country upon refusal. on purpose, by the Samaritans, in revenge of the slight which This demand and threatening threw the whole nation into they apprehended Alexander had shown them. But as soon great confusion; and one Joseph, the high priest's nephew by as Alexander heard it, he caused those to be put to death who his sister's side, rebuked his uncle sharply for his injustice and had acted any part in the murder, banished all the other inha-l ill management of the public interest, proposed Onias's jourhitants from Samariu, planted therein a colony of Macedoney to Alexandria, as the best expedient, and, upon his unele's nians, and gave the residue to the Jeus.
refusal, offered to go in person to pacify the king's wrath, Upon the rain of the Persians, Alexander had erected the which was accepted by the high priest, and approved by the Grecian or Macedonian monarchy. But coming to Babylon, people, B. C. 226. after the conquest of the most part of the then known world, Joseph all this time had entertained Athenion in a most elehe gave himself up so much to drunkenness and gluttony, that gant manner at his own house, and at his departure loaded he soon put an end to his life, B. C. 323.
him with such valuable gifts, that when he arrived at AlczanHere it cannot be amiss to observe, that Alexander was of dria, he found the king prepared much in his favour to receive a bold and enterprising spirit; but more full of fire than dis- him, and made himself more acceptable by informing him concretion. His actions, though successful, were furious and cerning the revenues of Cælesyria and Phancia, whose extravagantly rash. His few virtues were obscured with more value he had inquired more perfectly from their farmers, with and greater vices. Vainglory was his predominant passion; whom he had travelled to court part of the way; and was and the fables of the ancient Greek heroes were the only thereupon admitted the king's receiver general of Cælesyria, charts by which he steered his conduct. His dragging Balis Phanicia, Judea, and Samaria. He immediately satisfied round Gaza, his expedition into India, his drunken procession the king for his uncle's arrears with five hundred talents he through Caramania, and taking to himself the name of the borrowed at Alexandria on the credit of his new office, whuch son of Jupiter, are so many vouchers of this assertion.' And, he enjoyed twenty-two years, though he met ith great oppo were all his actions duly considered and estimated, he would sition at his first collecting, till he had brought some of the be properly characterized the great cut-throat of the age in ringleaders to exemplary punishment. which he lived; as all they are who delight in bloodshed, and B. C. 221. All things were again composed at Jerusalem; will forfeit all to obtain universal monarchy; whereas those and Philopater having succeeded his father Ptolemy Euergetes only are the true heroes who most benefit the world, by pro- in Egypt, and defeated the army of Antiochus the Great, he moting the peace and welfare of mankind. In a righteous in the fifth year of his reign took the tour of Jerusalem while cause, or a just defence of a man's country, all actions of he visited his conquests. But this was very unfortunate for valour are worthy of praise; but in all other casės victory and the Jews. For Philopater being led by a vain curiosity to conquest are no more than miirder and robbery., Therefore enter into the sanctuary and the holy of holies on the great Alexander's heroism is to be avoided, and not to be followed, day of expation, B. c. 217, where no one but the high priest as the surcst way to honour and glory.
was allowed to enter, he was opposed by the deprecations and Alexander was no sooner dead, than Ptolemy Soter seized lamentations of the people; and when he would still advance upon Egypt; and having in vain endeavoured to gain Syria, beyond the inner court, he was seized with such a terror and Phænicia, and Judea from Laomedon, whom Alexander had consternation, that he was obliged to be carried back in a appointed governor instead of Andromachus, who was burnt, manner half dead. - He recovered ; but when he left the city, invaded them by sea and land, took Laomedon prisoner, and he vowed revenge. And accordingly, he was no sooner got possession of those provinces also, except Judea ; - which, returned to Alexandria than he deprived the Jews of all their upon the account of their allegiance to the surviving governor, rights and privileges ; ordered them to be stigmatized with a refusing to yield, felt the severity of the conqueror; for, under- burn representing an iry leaf, under pain of deathr, in honour standing that the Jews would not so much as defend then- of his god Bacchus; and excluded all persons from his preselves on the Sabbath day, he stormed Jerusalem, took it with sence that would not sacrifice to the god he worshipped. out resistance on that day, and carried above one hundred Then he commanded as many Jews as he could seize in thousand of them captives into Egypt.
Egypt to be brought and shut op in the Hippodrome, or place From this time we may date the Jews' subjection to the for horse-races, at Alexandria, to be destroyed by clephanis. kings of Egypt. And it was in the fifth year of this Ptolemy's But God turned the wild beasts upon those that came to see reign that Onias the Jewish high priest died, and was suc- the dreadful massacre, by which numbers of the spectators ceeded by his son Simon the Just, on whom an eulogiun may were slain ; and so terrified the king and his subjects with be found in Ecclus. I. 1, &c., B. C. 292.
other tokens of his displeasure and power, that Ph. paler Simon the Just was high priest nine years, and is supposed immediately not only released the Jews from the Hippodrome, to have completed the canon of the Old Testament by add- but restored the whole nation to their privileges, reversed ing the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Malachi, and the every decree against them, and put those Jews to death who two books of Chronicles, with the aid and assistance of the for fear of persecution had apostatized from their religion. great synagogue. He was succeeded by his brother Elcazar, Ptolemy Philopater was succeeded, B. C. 204, by his son his son Onias being a minor, B. C. 291.
Ptolemy Epiphancs, then only five years old. This minority
Nehemiah and Malachi to the Birth of Christ, gave Antiochus the Great an opportunity to regain Cælesyria delegates that went from Jerusalem to prosecute him in the and Palestine : in which expedition the Jews had shown so name of the sanhedrin. much favour to Antiochus, that he granted them many favours, But while Antiochus was engaged in the Egyptian war, a liberty to live according to their own laws and religion, a Jason, on a false report that the king was-dead, marched with prohibition to strangers to enter within the sept of the temple, a thousand men, surprised the city of Jerusalem, drove Mene&c. But as soon as Ptoleny was marriageable, he made laus into the castle, and cruelly put to the sword and to other peace with him, and gave him his daughter, with Cælesyria kinds of death all those that he thought were his adversaries. and Palestine for her portion. On this occasion Joseph, who Immediately the news of this revolution and massacre had been Ptolemy's receiver general in those provinces, and reached Antiochus, he hastened to reduce the Jews to their displaced by Antiochus, was restored.
obedience; and in his way, being informed that the inhabitants Ptolemy in a short time had a son; and it being customary of Jerusalem had made great rejoicings at the report of his on such occasions for all the great officers of state to congra- death, he was so provoked, that, taking the city by storm, B. tulate the king and queen, and to carry them presents, Joseph, C. 170, he slew forty thousand persons, and sold as many more whose age would not permit him to take so long a journey, for slaves to the neighbouring nations. He entered the holy of sent his son Hyrcanus, B. C. 187, who, upon an unlimited holies, sacrificed a sow upon the altar of burnt-offerings, and credit given him by his father, when he was arrived at Aler- caused the broth or liquor thereof to be sprinkled all over the andria, borrowed a thousand talents, or tuo hundred thousand temple. He plundered the temple of as much gold and furpounds sterling, with which, buving a hundred beautiful boys niture as amounted to eight hundred talents of gold. Then, for the king, and as many beautiful young maids for the queen, returning to Antioch, he made one Philip, a most barbarous at the price of a talent per bead, and presenting them each and cruel man, governor of Judea ; Andronicus, as bad a man, with a talent in their hands, and disposing of the remaining governor of Samaria; and continued Menelaus, the worst of sun among the courtiers and great officers, he so obliged the all, in the pontificate. And, as if this was not sufficient to king and queen, and all the court, that he found it easy to satisfy his rage, he not long after sent an army of two and supplant his father, and obtained the king's commission twenty thousand men, under Apollonius his general, with for collecting the royal revenues in all the country beyond commission to put all the men of Jerusalem to the sword, and Jordan.
to make slaves of the women and children ; which was rigor· Hyrcanus, having thus abused his trust, went with a strong ously executed on a Sabbath day, so that none escaped but giard to execute his office; and being met by his brothers, such as could hide themselves in caves, or reach the mountains killed two of them. He came to Jerusalem; but his father by flight. would not admit him to his presence, and he was shunned by This cruelty soon after pursued the Jews, wherever disevery body. Upon the death of his father, which happened persed : for by a general decree to oblige all people in his soon after, he endeavoured by force of arms to oust his bres dominions to conform to the religion of the king, one Athenæus, thren from the paternal estate. This disturbed the peace of a Grecian idolater, was pitched upon to receive and instruct Jerusalem for a while ; till at last his brothers, being assisted all the Jews that would turn idolaters, and to punish with the by the high priest and the generality of the people, drove him most cruel deaths those who refused. It was at this time over Jordan, where he lived in a strong castle, till he fell that the temple was dedicated to Jupiter Olympius ; the books upon his own sword and killed himself to avoid the punish- of the law were burned ; and women, accused of having their ment with which Antiochus Epiphanes, upon his succeeding children circumcised, were led about the streets with these to the throne of Syria, threatened him. B. C. 175.
children tied about their necks, and then both together cast Antiochus the Great being slain by the inhabitants of Ely- headlong over the steepest part of the wall, B. C. 167; for mais, as he attempted by night to plunder the temple of many of them chose rather to die than to renounce their God; Jupiter Belus, thereby to pay the Romans according to his as the holy zeal and religious fortitude of the very aged and agreement, his son Seleucus Philopater succeeded him in the pious Eleazar, a chief doctor of the law, and of the heroine provinces of Syria, Judea, &c., and resided at Antioch. Salomona and her seven sons, do testify; whom neither the
Scleucus, at his first advancement to the dominion of these instruments of death could terrify, nor the allurements of the provinces, continued his father's favours to the Jews ; but tyrant could persuade, to forfeit their interest with the Albeing afterwards informed by one Simon a Benjamite that mighty, either by idolatry or dissimulation. there was great treasure in the temple, he sent one Heliodorus Matthias, great grandson of Asmonaus, and a priest of the to seize it, and to bring all the riches he could find therein to first course, retired with his five sons, John, Simon, Judas, Antioch. Heliodorus attempted to exccute this commission ; | Eleazar, and Jonathan, from the persecution at Jerusalem, to but he was so terrified at the sight of an armed host of angels a little place called Modin, in the tribe of Dan: But as soon that appeared to defend the entrance of the sacred treasury, as they were discovered, Antiochus sent one Appelles to that that he fell speechless to the ground; nor did he recover till place, to oblige all the inhabitants, on pain of death, to tum · the high priest interceded to God for him.
idolaters. This officer delivered his commission by endeaThis same Heliodarus poisoned his sotereign Seleucus, vouring to persuade Matthias to embrace idolatry, tendering hoping to obtain the kingdona; but his design was frustrated to him the king's favour, and promising him great riches ; by Eumenes, king of Pergamus, and his brother Attalus, who which the good priest not only scornfully rejected, but slew set Antiochus Emphanes, another son of. Antiochus the Great, the first Jew that dared to approach the idolatrous altar; and on the throne of Syria.
then, turning upon the king's commissioner, he despatched Epiphanes, at his accession to the throne, finding himself him and all his attendants, with the assistance of his sons and hard pressed by the Romans, endeavoured to raise their heavy those that were with them. After this he put himself at the tribute by all manner of exactions. Amongst other means he head of as many Jers as he could collect; and, having broken deposed the good and pious high priest, Onias, and sold the down the idols and the altars of the heathens, retired with puntificate to his brother Jason for the yearly sum of three them into the mountains. Here, as he took measures for hundred and sixty talents; and afterwards he deposed Jason, their defence, he was joined by a numerous party of Assidæans ; and sold it to his brother Menelaus for three hundred talents a valiant people, who practised greut hardships and mortificamore, B. C. 174.
tions, and were resolved to lay down their lives for the recovery Menelaus, having invaded the pontificate by these unjust of the temple. By these, and the accession of great numbers means, and finding himself straitened to raise the annual pay- of other Jeux Matthias found himself in a capacity to take ment according to contract, by the means of Lysimachus, the field; but as their mistaken notion about resting on the another of his brothers, he robbed the temple of many gold Sabbath day had beemone great cause of their being surprised vessels, which, being turned into money, he paid to the king; by their enemies, and brought many great misfortunes upon and bribed Andronicus, the governor of Antioch, to murder them, because they would not defend themselves on that day his brother Onias, lest at any time he should stand in his way. from their enemies, he caused it to be unanimously agreed and It is true that at the instance of the people Andronicus was decreed, that it was lawful, and that they might defend themseized and executed for his villany and murder, and Lysima- selves, and repel force by force, on the Sabbath day, should chus was put to death by the mob at Jerusalem ; yet Menelaus they be attacked. found means by bribery, not only to acquit himself, but to After this decree had passed, with the approbation of the obtain sentence against, and even the execution of, the three priests and elders, Matthias left his lurking-places, marched