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PERIOD VII. Year of the World.

Year Before Christ. 3398 Daniel and his three friends are blessed in their captivity 606 3401 Jehoiakim rebels against Nebuchadnezzar

603 3405 Jehoiakim dies after reigning 11 years ; Jehoiachin succeeds him 599

Nebuchadnezzar besieges Jerusalem; Zedekiah made king

Jeremiah prophesies of the captivity & restoration, of the Jews 3414 Zedekiah rebels ; Nebuchadnezzar besieges Jerusalem . 590 3416 Zedekiah escapes - is overtaken-his eyes are put out . 588

Gedaliah is made governor of Jerusalenı, Ishmael slays him
Ishmael escapes ; Johanan and the Jews go into Egypt

Ezekiel predicts the total destruction of Tyre and Sidon 3434 Nebuchadnezzar forgets his dream, Daniel declares it

570 Nebuchadnezzar sets up an image of gold, Shadrach, Meshach,

and Abednego refuse to worship it ;--they are cast into a
fiery furnace, God delivers them ; Nebuchadnezzar acknow-

ledges the True God. 3435 Nebuchadnezzar is reprored in a dream ; his pride is humbled 569 3441 God restores Nebuchadnezzar; he declares God's power

563 3443 Evil-Merodach releases Jehoiachin from prison.

561 Daniel has a vision of four great beasts, which are four empires

Daniel's confession and prayer for the restoration of the Jews 3449 Belshazzar makes a feast; a hand writes on the wall, Daniel 555

interprets it; Cyrus takes Babylon ; Belshazzar is slain 3457 Darius appoints Daniel chief president; his enemies cause him 537

to be cast into a den of lions; God delivers him 3468 Cyrus reigns alone, he proclaims liberty to the Jews

536 3470 Haggai and Zechariah forward the rebuilding of the Temple; 534

the enemies of the Jews oppose the work, it is delayed 14 years 3484 The decree of Cyrus is found; the second Temple is completed 520 3540 The Samaritans conspire against the Jews

464 3542 Ahasuerus deposes Vashti, and marries Esther, a Jewess 462 3551 Haman tries to bring about the total destruction of the Jews 453 3552 Mordecai is promoted to honour, Haman is hanged

432 3560 Nehemiah goes from Persia to Jerusalem to assist Ezra 444

Sanballat opposes the building of the walls of Jerusalem 3576 A solemn covenant is made by the people to observe the Sab- 428

bath, to offer up the appointed sacrifices, &c. 3604 Malachi foretels the conversion of the Gentiles-the coming of 400 John Baptist, and of Christ, as the Sun of Righteousness

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TO TIIE

COMING OF THE MESSIAH.

A period of four hundred years elapsed from the time of Malachi's prophecies to the coming of Christ, but the Jews never enjoyed their former independence and prosperity, and they no longer received the direct tokens of God's favour which had distinguished their earlier history. The sacred fire of the altar which had burned from the time of Solomon's dedication of the temple, and had never been allowed to expire, was extinguished at the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar. When the second temple was built and the offerings made, no fire descended from heaven, and the sacrifices were kindled with common fire. The Spirit of prophecy existed till the time of Malachi and then wholly ceased; and the history of this favoured people was no longer recorded by the pen of inspiration. After the Jews returned from Babylon they never again sank into idolatry, though their zeal for the honour of God abated after a few years.

The Jews were subject to Persia nearly 200 years. Towards the close of the Persian sway the temple of the Samaritans was built on Mount Gerizim, in which the services of the Jewish religion were imitated by Manasseh, a son of the high priest at Jerusalem whom Nehemiah had expelled from the priesthood for having married the daughter of Sanballat, the Horonite, the governor of Samaria. This temple was designed to rival that at Jerusalem, and was one of the causes of that jealousy which ever after existed between the Jews and the Samaritans. The temple of Gerizim was destroyed about 200 years after.

The Persian empire fell, and the Grecian rule was established under Alexander the Great. In all these events the prophecies of Daniel were minutely fulfilled. The Jews enjoyed comparative peace for many years under Alexander and his immediate successors, the Ptolemies, but one of them, Antiochus, endeavoured to abolish the worship of God throughout his dominions and to substitute the idolatries of the Grecians. are recorded in the books of Maccabees. Mattathias, a priest, and his five sons, who are known as the Maccabean princes, became successively the leaders of the Jewish nation in their resistance to the oppression and idolatries of Antiochus. Several of the princes of the Maccabees reigned as kings over the Jews till the time of Herod. These princes showed great valour in defence of their religion and laws and their early history shows us the happy effects of family union; but the dissensions which afterwards arose among their descendants prepared the way for the cruel, but successful tyrant Herod, who married Mariamne, a princess of the family of the Maccabees, whom he afterwards put to death in his jealous rage. Pompey, the Roman general, made the Jews tributary to Rome, but he was overthrown by Julius Cæsar at the battle of Pharsalia, about 50 years before Christ was born ; and ten years after, Herod was declared king of Judea by the Romans. About 18 years before the birth of the Saviour, Herod pulled down the greater part of the second Temple and built a new one upon its site; it is said that 10,000 artificers were engaged on this great work under the superintendence of 1,009 priests. In less than ten years it was ready for Divine service, but additions continued to be made to it for many years, so that it might truly be said “forty-and-six years was this temple in building.” It was demolished by Titus A.D.70 on the same day of the same month on which Solomon's Temple had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. But the Temple was not then the sole place of worship of the Jewish nation, for synagogues, in which the Holy Scriptures were publicly read, had been erected in every city throughout Judea, so that the Jews had opportunities of hearing the word of God which had not existed previous to the Babylonish captivity. Herod died about a year after the birth of Christ, having vainly attempted to accomplish his death by the massacre of the infants in and about Bethlehem. After Herod's death his dominions were divided among his sons.

THE END.

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