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ther than the words of the prophecy. And hath not this terrible denunciation been fully executed upon the Jews ? Was nct the complete excision of that incredulous nation, soon after Jesus hau finished his ministry among them, and his apostles had likewise preached in vain, the fulfilling of the threat upon them for not bearkening unto him? Wc may be the more certain of this application, as our Saviour himself not only denounced the same destruction, but also foretold the signs, the manner, and the circumstances of it, with a particularity and exactness that will amaze us, as we shall see in a proper place : and those of the Jews who believed in his name, by remembering the caution and following the advice which he had given them, escaped from the general ruin of their country, like firebrands plucked out of the fire. The main wody of the nation either perished in their infidelity, or were carried captive into all nations : and have they not ever since persisted in the same infidelity, been obnoxious to the same punishment, and been a vagabond, distressed, and miserable people in the earth ? The hand of God was scarce ever more visible in any of his dispensations. We must be blind not to see it : and seeing, we cannot but admire, and adore it. What other probable account can they themselves give of their long captivity, dispersion, and misery. Their foriner captivity for the punishment of all their wickedness and idolatry lasted only seventy years : but they have lived in their present dispersion, even though they have been no idolaters, now these seventeen hundred years, and yet without any immediate prospect of their restoration : and what enormous crime could have drawn down, and unrepented of still continues to draw down, these heavy judgments upon them? We say that they were cut off for their infidelity; and that when they shall turn to the faith, they 'will be graffed in again. One would think, it should be worth their while to try the experiment. Sure we are, that they have long been monuments of God's justice; we believo, that upon their faith and repentance they will become again objects of his mercy: and in the mean time with St. Paul, Rom. x. 1,–Our heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they may be saved.'

DISSERTATION VII.

PROPHECIES OF MOSES CONCERNING THE JEWS.

IT is observable that the prophecies of Moses abound most in the latter part of his writings. As he drew nearer his end, it pleased God to open to him larger prospects of things. As he was about to take leave of the people, he was enabled to disclose unto them more particulars of their future state and condition. The design of this work will permit us to take notice of such only as have some reference to these later ages : and we will confine ourselves principally to the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy, the greater part whereof we may see accomplished in the world at this present time.

This great prophet and lawgiver is here proposing at large to the people the blessing for obedience, and the curses for disobedience: and indeed he had foretold at several times, and upon several occasions, that they should be happy or miserable in the world, as they were obedient or disobedient to the law that he had given them. And could there be any stronger evidence of the divine original of the Mosaical law ? and hath not the interposition of Providence been wonderfully remarkable in their good or bad fortune ? and is not the truth of the prediction fully attested by the whole series of their history, from their first settlement in Canaan to this very day? But he is larger and more particular in recounting the curses than the blessings; as if he had a prescience of the people's disobedience, and foresaw that a larger portion and longer continuation of the evil would fall to their share, than of the good. I know that some critics make a division of those prophecies, and imagine that one part relates to the former captivity of the Jews, and to the calamities which they suffered under the Chaldæans; and that the other part relates to the latter captivity of the Jews, and to the calamities which they suffered under the Romans; but there is no need of any such distinction ; there is no reason to think that any such was intended by the author ; several prophecies of the one part as well as of the other, have been fulfilled at both periods, but they have all more amply been fulfilled during the latter period ; and there cannot be a more lively picture than they exhibit of the state of the Jews at present.

1. We will consider them with a view to the order of time, young

rather than the order wherein they lie ; and we may not improperly begin with this passage, ver. 49,- The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the cagle flieth, a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand :' and the Chaldæans might be said to come “from far,' in comparison with the Moabites, Philistines, and other neighbouring nations, which used to infest Judea. Much the same description is given of the Chaldæans by Jeremiah, v. 15,— Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, 0 house of Israel, saith the Lord : it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.' He compares them in like manner to eagles, Lam. iv. 19,–Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven : they pursued us upon the moun. tains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness. But this description cannot be applied to any nation with such propriety as to the Romans. They were truly brought from far, from the end of the earth. Vespasian and Adrian, the two greatest conquerors and destroyers of the Jews, both came from commanding here in Bri. tain. The Romans too, for the rapidity of their conquests, might very well be compared to eagles, and perhaps not without an allusion to the standard of the Roman armies, which was an eagle. and their language was more unknown to the Jews than the Chaldec.

2. The enemies of the Jews are farther characterized in the next verse,—' A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the

Such were the Chaldæans; and the sacred historian saith expressly, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 17, that for the wickedness of the Jews, God brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword, in the house of their sanctuary, and had nu compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for gave them all into his hand. Such also were the Romans; for when Vespasian entered Gadara, Josephus saith, that “he slew all, man by man, the Romans showing mercy to no age, out of hatred to the nation, and remembrance of their former injuries. The like slaughter was made at Gamala, “for nobody escaped besides two women, and they escaped by concealing themselves from the rage of the Romans. For they did not so much as spare young children, but every one at that time snatching up many, cast them down from the citadel."*

age; hic

* Και σαρελθων είσω, σαντας ήβηδον αναιρει, μηδεμιας των Ρωμαιων ηλικιας έλεον ποιμεντη, μισει τε προς το εθνος, και μνεμη της κατα τον Κεσιον αυτων παρανομιας. Et deindle in ean ingressus, puberes omnes interfici jussit, Romanis nulli ætati misericordiam adhibentibus tan "x odii in gentem, quam memoria iniquitatis illoruin in Cestium. – Bell. Jud. lit. 3 6. 7, sect. 1, p. 1128, edit. Hudson. [Translated in the text.)

3. Their enemies were also to besiege and take their cities, ver. 52,— And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land,' So 'Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, came up against Samaria, and besieged it, and at the end of three years they took it,':—2 Kings xviii. 9, 10. So 'did Sennacherib, king of Assyria, come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them,'ih. ver. 13 : and Nebuchadnezzar and his captains took and spoiled Jerusalem, burnt the city and temple, and brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about,'—ib. xxv. 10. So likewise the Romans, as we may read in Josephus's history of the Jewish war, demolished several fortified places, before they besieged and destroyed Jerusalem. And the Jews may very well be said to have trusted in their high and fenced walls, for they seldom ventured a battle in the open field. They confided in the strength and situation of Jerusalem, as the Jebusites, the former inhabitants of the place, had done before them, 2 Sam. v. 6, 7: insomuch that they are represented saying, Jer. xxi. 13,—Who shall come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitation ? Jerusalem was indeed a very strong place, and wonderfully fortified both by nature and art, according to the description of Tacitust as well as of Josephus :f and yet how many times was it taken ! It was taken by Shishak king of Egypt, by Nebuchadnezzar, by Antiochus Epiphanes, by Pompey, by Sosius and Herod, before its final destruction by Titus.

4. In these sieges they were to suffer much, and especially from famine, in the straitness wherewith their enemies should distress them.'- ver. 53, &c. And accordingly, when the king of Syria besieged Samaria,' there was a great famine in Samaria ; and be

* Διασθη δε πλην δυο γυναικων εδεις.διεσώθησαν δε, τας παρα την αλασιν οργας Ρωμαιων λαθεσαι: δε γαρ νηπιων φειδοντο, πολλα δε έκαςος τοτε αρποζοντες ε'σφενδονων από της άκρας. Nemo autem pra ter duas mulieres interitum effugit evaserunt autem quod iræ Romanorum in excido sese subduxerunt. Nec enim infantibus pepercerunt, multos vero singuli eo tempore raptos ex arce projiciebant.-Bell. Jud. lib. 4. c. 1, sect. 10, p. 1165, Edit. Hudson. [Translated in the text.]

+ Taciti Hist. lib. 5. Josephus de Bell. Jud. lib. 5, cap. 4 et 5.
* Ser Josephus de Bell. Jud, lib. 6, cap. ult. p. 1292. edit Ausdon.

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hold they besieged it until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of doves' dung for five pieces of silver,'-2 Kings vi. 25. And when Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem, 'the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land,'—2 Kings xxv. 3. And in the last siege of Jerusalem by the Romans, there was a most terrible famine in the city, and Josephus hath given so melancholy an account of it, that we cannot read it without shuddering. He saith, particularly, that“ women snatched the food out of the very mouths of their husbands, and sons of their fathers, and (what is most miserable) mothers of their infants :"* and in another place he saith, that "in every house, if there appeared any semblance of food, a battle ensued, and the dearest friends and relations fought with one another, snatching away the miserable provisions of life:”+ so literally were the words of Moses fulfilled, ver, 54, &c.—the man's ' eye shall be evil towards his brother, and towards the wife of his bosom, and towards his children, because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates,' and in like manner the woman's

eye shall be evil towards the husband of her bosom, and towards her son, and towards her daughter.'

5. Nay it was expressly foretold, that not only the men, but even the women should eat their own children. Moses had foretold the same thing before, Levit. xxvi. 29,– Ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. He repeats it here, ver. 53,-- And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters :' and more particularly, ver. 56, &c.—The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness-she shall eat her children for want of all things, secretly, in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in thy gates.' And it was fulfilled about 600 years after the time of Moses, among

γυναικες γων ανδρων, και παιδες σατερων, και το οικτροτατον μητερες νηπιων εξηρπαζο, is aiTWY TWO souatwy Tas Tpopas. Siquidem uxores viris, et filii parentibus, et quod omnium maxime miserabile erat, matres infantibus cibum ex ipso ore rapiebant -Bell. Jud. lib. 5, cap. 10, sect. 3, p. 1245. [Translated in the text.]

+ Καθ' έκασην γαρ οικια», είπε τροφης παραφανειη σκια, πολεμος ήν, και δια χειρων χωρων οι φιλτατοι προς άλληλες, εξαρπαζοντες τα ταλαιπωρα της ψυχης εφοδια. Ρer singulas quippe domos sicubi vel umbra apparuisset cibi, bellum illico gerebatur, et amicissimi quique inter se acriter dimicabant, sibi invicem misera vitæ subsidia eripientes... Lib. 6, can. 3. sect. 3, p, 1274, edit. Hudson. [Translated in the text.]

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