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be said or thought in such a case? Whoever of posterity should
THE PROPHECIES CONCERNING BABYLON.
Babylon was a very great and a very ancient city, as well as
* Περιβαλετο τειχος τη πολει σαδιων τριακοσίων εξηκοντα. CCCLX stadiorum muro urbem cir, umde it.—Diod. Sic. lib. 2, p. 68, edit. Steph. ; p. 95, edit. Rhod. (Ile surrounded the city with a wal of 360 sur!ongs.] Totius operis ambitus CCCLXVJI stadia complectitur.— uint. Curt. lib. 5, cap. 1. [The circumference of the whole work was 268 furlongs.]
+ Κεται έν πεδιων μεγαλω, μεγαθος ε'sσα, μετωπον έκαςον, είκοσι και εκατον σαδιω», ε'ισης τετραγων και ετοι σαδιοι της περιο και της πολιος γινονται συναπαντες ογδωκοντα και τετρακοσιου. Oppidum situm est in plani ie ingenti, forma quadratı, magnitudine quoquo versus centenim vicen m sta jorum, in summa quadringentorum et octoginta, in circuitu quatuor laterum urbis --Herod. lib. 1, cap. 178, p. 74, edit. Gale. [The city was in the form of a square, and stood in an exten ive plain ; · ach side measured 120 furlongs, so that the circumference of the whole city was 480 furlongs.]
who was an older author than any of them, represents it of the same dimensions as Nineveh, that is, 480 furlongs, or above sixty miles in compass;
but the difference was, that Nineveh was constructed in the form of a parallelogram, and Babylon was an exact square, each side being 120 furlongs in length. So that according to this account Babylon contained more ground in it than Nineveh did ; for by multiplying the sides, the one by the other, it will be found, that Nineveh contained within its walls only 13,500 furlongs, and that Babylon contained 14,400. It was too as ancient, or more ancient, than Nineveh ; for in the words of Moses, speaking of Nimrod,
'the beginning of his kingdom,'--Gen. x. 10, that is, the first city, or the capital city in his dominions. Several heathen authors say that Semiramis, but most (as Quintus Curtius* asserts) that Belus built it: and Belus was very probably the same as Nimrod. But whoever was the first founder of this city, we may reasonably suppose that it received very great improvements afterwards, and Nebuchadnezzar particularly repaired, and enlarged, and beautified it to such a degree, that he may in a manner be said to have built it; as he boasted himself, ' Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty ??— Dan. iv. 30. Nor is this asserted only in scripture, but is likewise attested by heathen authors, Megasthenes, Berosus, and Abydenus, whose words are quoted by Josephus and Eusebius. By one means or other, BabyIcn became so great and so famous a city as to give name to a very large empire; and it is called in scripture 'great Babylon,'— Dan. iv. 30; “the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency,—Is. xiii. 19; the golden city,'—Is. xiv. 4; the lady of kingdoms,'— Is. xlvii. 5; abundant in treasures,'--Jer. li. 13; • the praise of the whole earth,'—Jer. li. 41: and its beauty, strength, and grandeur; its walls, temples, palaces, and hanging gardens; the banks of the river, and the artificial canals and lake made for the draining of that river in the seasons of its overflowings, are described with such pomp and magnificence by heathen authors, , that it might deservedly be reputed one of the wonders of the world. The fullest and best account of these things in English is to be found in the second book of that very valuable and very useful
* Semiramis eam condiderat : vel, ut plerique credidere, Belus.—Quint. Curt. ibid. 'Semiramis, (or Belus, as many authors suppose,) was the founder of the city.
+ Joseph. Antiq. lib. 10, cap. 11, sect. I, p. 459, edit. Hudson. Euseb. Præpar Evang. lib. 9, cap. 41, p. 457, edit. Vigeri.
work, Dr. Prideaux's Connection. Though Babylon was seated in a low watery plain, yet in scripture it is called a mountain,'-Jer. li. 25, on account of the great height of its walls and towers, its palaces and temples : and Berosus, speaking of some of its buildings, saith that “they appeared most like mountains."* Its 'gates of Lrass,' and its broad walls,'— Is. xlv. 2, Jer. li. 58, are particularly mentioned in scripture: and the city had a hundred gates, twentyfive on each side, all made of solid brass :t and its walls, according to Herodotus, I were 350 feet in height, and eighty-seven in thickness, and “six chariots could go abreast upon them,” as Diodorus affirms, after Ctesias.
Such a city as this, one would imagine, was in no danger of being totally abandoned, and coming to nought. Such a city as this might surely with less vanity than any other boast that she should continue for ever, if any thing human could continue for ever. So she vainly gloried. Is. xlvii. 7, 8,—- I shall be a lady for
I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children.' But the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah plainly and particularly foretold the destruction of this city. They lived during the declension of the kingdom of Judah ; and as they predicted the captivity of the Jews, so they likewise foretold the downfal of their enemies : and they speak with such assurance of the event, that they describe a thing future as if it were already past. Is. xxi. 9,— Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.' Jer. li. 8,— Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed; howl for her, take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.' It is somewhat remarkable, that one of Isaiah's pruphecies concerning Babylon is intitled, xxi. 1,- the burden of the desert of the sea,' or rather of the plain of the sea, for Babylon was seated in a plain, and surrounded by water. The propriety of the expression consists in this, not only that any large collection of waters in the oriental style is called a sea,' but also that the places about Babylon, as Abydenus informs us out of
* Την όψιν άποδες όμοιοτατην τοις όρεσι. . Quibus speciem dedit montibus persimilem - Joseph. Antiq. ibid. [Translated in the text.] + Herod. lib. 1, cap. 179, p. 74, edit. Gale.
Herod. ibid. cap. 178. Prideaux, ibid. και Ωςε το μεν πλατος είναι των τοιχων εξ αρμασιν Ιππασιμον. Ut menium latitudo sex juxta curribus vehendis sufficeret.—Diod. Sic. lib. 2, p. 68, edit. Stephan. ; p. 96, edit. Rhod. [Translated in the text.]
Megasthenes, “are said from the beginning to have been overwhelmed with waters, and to have been called the sea.'
Cyrus, who was the conqueror of Babylon, and transferred the empire from the Babylonians to the Medes and Persians, was particularly foretold by name, Is. xliv. 28; xlv. 1. above a hundred years before he was born. He is honoured with the appellation of the Lord's anointed,' and the Lord is said to have holden his right hand, and to have . girded him,'— Is. xlv. 1, 5: and he was raised up to be an instrument of providence for great purposes, and was certainly a person of very extraordinary endowments, though we should allow that Xenophon had a little exceeded the truth, and had drawn his portrait beyond the reality. It was promised that he should be a great conqueror, should ‘subdue nations before him,'— Is. xlv. 1, "and I will loose the loins of kings to open before him the two-leaved gates, and the gates shall not he shut:' and he subdued several kings, and took several cities, particularly Sardes and Babylon, and extended his conquest “over all Asia from the river Indus to the Ægean Sea.”+ It was promised that he should find great spoil and treasure among the conquered nations : Is. xlv. 3,—I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places : and the riches which Cyrus found in his conquests amounted to a prodigious value in Pliny's account ;I nor can we wonder at it, for those parts of Asia at that time abounded in wealth and luxury: Babylon had been heaping up treasures for many years; and the riches of Creesus, king of Lydia, whom Cyrus conquered and took prisoner, are in a manner become proverbial.
The time too of the reduction of Babylon was marked out by the prophet Jeremiah, xxv. 11, 12,— These nations' that is, the Jews and the neighbouring nations,' shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years; And it shall come to pass when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord.' This prophecy was delivered, as it appears from the first verse of the chapter, ‘in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon :' and from that time there were 70 years* to the taking of Babylon and the restoration of the Jews. Nebuchadnezzar had transplanted the Jews to Babylon to people and strengthen the place, and their removal from thence must have weakened it very much; and after that it was distressed more and more, till at last it was brought to nought,
* Λεγεται δε σαντα μεν εξ αρχης υδωρ είναι, θαλασσαν καλεομενην. Feinquit, loca hæc omnia jam inde ab initio aquis obruta fuisse, marisque nomine appellata. – Euseb. Præp. Evang. lib. 9, cap. 41, p. 457. Edit. Vigeri. [Translated in the text.] t-Omnem Asiam ab India usque ad Ægeum mare.
Marshami Chron. Sæc. XVII p. 587. [Translated in the text.]
Plin. lib. 3:3, cap. 1, Lit. Harduin.
Several circumstances likewise of the siege and taking of Babylon were presignified by the prophets. It was foretold that God would stir up the Medes and Persians against it:'Go up, O Elam,' that is Persia, Is. xxi. 2,-- besiege, O Media ;' and Jer. li. 11,'the Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes, for his device is against Babylon to destroy it:' and accordingly it was besieged by the united forces of the Medes and Persians under the command of Cyrus the Persian, the nephew and son-in-law of the king of the Medes. The Medes are chiefly spoken of, as they were at that time the superior people. The Medes is too a general name for both nations, and so it is used and applied by several Greek historians as well as by the sacred writers. Elamt was an old name for Persia for the name of Persia, doth not appear to have been known in Isaiah's time; Ezekiel is the first who mentions it. And Bochartf asserts that the Persians were first so
• See Prideaux and other chronologers.
+ Elam est Persis, et cum Media sæpius conjungitur.-Persarum nomen ante captivitatem Babylonicam, obscurum fuit. Ezechiel primus inter bellicosas gentes illos recenset, (xxvii. 10, & xxxviii. 5) quum nondum innotuerant res Cyri. A Cyro demum natione Perså, et victoriis inclyto, Persarum gloria increbuit.— [Elam signifies the Persians, and is often conjoined with Media. The Persians were little known before the Babylonian captivity. Ezekiel is the first who enumerates them among the warlike nations, xxvii. 10, and xxxviii. 5, at which time the deeds of Cyrus were unknown ; but at length their glory was increased by Cyrus, who was a Persian by birth, and celebrated for his victories.
# At Persis ipsis nomen fuit ab equitatu, qua maxime valebant, equitare a teneris edocti.—Qua tamen disciplina primus illos imbuit Cyrus. Itaque ex tam repentina mutatione factum, ut hæc regio D 0 Paras et incolæ **One Persæ dicerentur, id est, equites. Arabice enim D D Pharas est equus, et DTXD Pharis equus (ut Hebraice 299 Paras.) Porro vox eadem Pharis etiam Persam significat. Inde est, quod neque Moses, nec libri Regum, nec Esaias aut Jeremias, Persarum meminerunt, neque quisquam eorum, qui vixerunt ante Cyrum. At in Daniele et Ezechiele Cyro coævis, et in libris Paralipomenon, et Esdræ, et Nehemiæ, et Esther, &c. qui post Cyrum scripti sunt. Persarum est frequens mentio. Antea verisimile est Hebræa nomina 13 Chut et buy Elam magnam Persidis partem inclusisse. [The Persians derived their name from their skill in horsemanship, in which they greatly excelled, being trained to it from their infancy. Cyrus first instructed them in the science-and so sudden a change having been introduced among them, has caused the country to be called SD Paras, and the inhabitants 'XD90 Persæ, that is, horsemen. For in the Arabic D75 Pharas signifies a horse, and DIND Pharis, a horseman, as una Paras, in the Hebrew. The same word, Pharis, also signifies a Persian. Whence it is that no mention is made of the