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diers, and drove the rest into the city.”* Nahum foretels, ii. 6 —that 'the gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved;' and Diodorus informs us, "that there was an old prophecy, that Nineveh should not be taken, till the river be came an enemy to the city: and in the third year of the siege, the river, being swoln with continual rains, overflowed part of the city, and broke down the wall for 20 furlongs; then the king thinking that the oracle was fulfilled, and the river become an enemy to the city, built a large funeral pile in the palace, and collecting together all his wealth, and his concubines, and eunuchs, burnt himself and the palace with them all; and the enemy entered at the breach that the waters had made, and took the city."+ What was predicted in the first chapter, ver. 8, was therefore literally fulfilled: ‘With an overruning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof.' Nahum promises the enemy much spoil of gold and silver, ii. 9,Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold for there is no end
* Διόπερ της δυνάμεως άπασης ἑξιωμένης, οἱ περι του 'Αρδακη, παρα τινων αὐτομόλως πυθόμενοι την εν τη παρεμβολη των πολεμίων ῥαθυμιαν και μέθη», νυκτος ἀπροσδοκήτως της ἐπίθεσιν ἐποιησαντο, προσπεσοντες δε συντεταγμενοι μεν ἀσυντακτοις, ἑτοιμοι δε ἀπαρασκεύοις, της τε παρεμβολης ἐκρατησαν, και των ςρατιωτων πολλως ἀνελοντες, τυς άλλες μέχρι της πολεως κατεδίωξαν. Toto igitur exercitu conviviis indulgente, Arbaces per transfugas de negligentia et ebrietate hostium edoctus, noctu ex improviso illos opprimet. Et quoniam compositi incompositos, parati imparatos invadebant, facile et castra expugnant, et vastam hostium stragem edunt et reliquos in urbem compellunt. [Translated in the text.] Diod. Sic. lib. 2, p. 80, Edit. Steph. p. 112. Edit. Rhod.
† Ην δ' αὐτω λογιον παραδεδομενον ἐκ προγόνων, ὅτι την Νίνον έδει έλη κατα κρατος, ἐαν μη προτερον ὁ ποταμος τη πόλει γενηται πολέμιος. τω τρίτω δ' έτει συνεχως όμβρος ῥαγδαίων καταῤῥαγενιωι, συνεβη τον Ευφράτην [Τιγριν] μεγαν γενομνον κατακλύσαι τι μερος της πολεως, και καταβαλειν το τείχος ἐπι ςαδίως εἴκοσιν ἐνταυθα ὁ βασιλευς, νομίσας τετελεσθαι τον χρησμόν, και τη πόλει τον ποταμον γεγονεναι φανερως πολέμιον, ἀπεγνω την σωτηρία ἵνα δε μη τοις πολεμίοις, γενηται ὑποχειρίες, πυραν ἐν τοῖς βασιλείοις κατεσκεύασε ὑπερμεγέθη, και τον τε χρυσον και τον άργυρον άπαντα, προς δε τετοις την βασιλικην έσθητα πασαν ἐπι ταύτης ἐσώρευσε. Τας δε παλλακίδας και τις έννυχες συγκλείσας εἰς τὸν ἐν μέση τη πυρα καλεσ κευασμένον οἶκον, ἅμα τετοις ἁπασιν ἑαυτον τε και τα βασίλεια κατέκαυσεν· οἱ δ ̓ ἀποσταται, πυθόμενοι την ἀπολειαν Σαρδαναπαλυ της μεν πολεως ἐκρατησαν εἰσπεσοντες κατα το πεπίωκος μέρος 1ο Τοιχος. Atqui vaticinium a majoribus traditum habebat. A nullo capi Ninum posse, nisi fluvius urbi prius hostis evaderet.—Tertio demum anno accidit ut Euphrates [Tigris] continuis imbrium gravissimorum tempestatibus excrescens, urbis partem inundaret, et murum ad stadia xx dejiceret. Tum vero finem habere oraculum, annemque manifeste urbi hostem esse, rex judicans, spem salutis abjecit. Itaque ne in hostium manus perveniret, rogum in regia ingentem extruxit; quo aurum et argentum omne, et quicquid erat regii vestimenti, congessit. Tum concubinis et eunuchis in domunculam, quam in medio pyræ extruxerat, conclusis, se regiamque cum illis omnibus incendio absumpsit. Cujus interitum cum audissent, qui a rege defecerant, per collapsam muri partem ingressi, urbem ceperunt. Translated in the text.] Diod. Sie. lib. 2, p. 80 edit. Steph. p. 113, edit. Rhod.
of the store, and glory out of all the pleasant furniture:' and we read in Diodorus,* that Arbaces carried many talents of gold and silver to Ecbatana, the royal city of the Medes. According to Nahum, i. 8, iii. 15, the city was to be destroyed by fire and water; and we see in Diodorus, that by fire and water it was destroyed.
But Nahum is cited upon this occasion principally to show, that he foretold the total and entire destruction of this city. The Lord, saith he in the first chapter, ver. 8, 9,—' with an overrunning flood will make an utter end of the place thereof; he will make an utter end; afflictions shall not rise up the second time.' Again in the second chapter, ver. 11, 13,- Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions?' meaning Nineveh, whose princes ravaged like lions: behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard.' Again in the third and last chapter. ver. 17, 18, 19,- Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day; but when the sun ariseth, they flee away, and their place is not known where they are,' or have been: thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria; thy nobles shall dwell in the dust; thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them; there is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous; all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?' The prophet Zephaniah likewise in the days of Josiah king of Judah foretold the same sad event, ii. 13, 14, 15,- The Lord will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria, and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness and flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds; for he shall uncover the cedar work: this is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none besides me; how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her, shall
* ̓Επειτα τεν τε ἀργυρον και χρυσον τον έκ της πυρας ὑπολειφθεντα, πολλων ίντα ταλάντων, ἀπεκόμισε της Μηδ ας εἰς Εκβατανα Tam quicquid argenti aurique ex pyra restabat (multa certe talenta erant) in Ecbatana Medorum regiam transtulit. [He carried away into Ec' atana, the royal city of the Medes, the gold and silver which had not Deen consumed in the funeral ile, amounting to many talents.] Diod. Sic. lib. 2, p, 81, edit. Steph. p. 115, edit. Rhod.
hiss and wag his hand.' But what probability was there that the capital city of a great kingdom, a city which was sixty miles in compass, a city which contained so many thousand inhabitants, “a city which had walls, according to Diodorus Siculus, a hundred feet high, and so thick that three chariots could go abreast upon them, and fifteen hundred towers, at proper distances in the walls, of two hundred feet in height:* what probability was there, I say, that such a city should ever be totally destroyed? and yet so totally was it destroyed, that the place is hardly known where it was situated.
We have seen that it was taken and destroyed by the Medes and Babylonians and what we may suppose helped to complete its ruin and devastation was Nebuchadnezzar's soon afterwards enlarging and beautifying of Babylon. From that time no mention is made of Nineveh by any of the sacred writers; and the most ancient of the heathen authors, who have occasion to say any thing about it, speak of it as a city that was once great and flourishing, but now destroyed and desolate. Great as it was formerly, so little of it was remaining, that authors are not agreed even about its situation. I think we may conclude from the general suffrage of ancient historians and geographers, that it was situated upon the river Tigris; but yet no less authors than Ctesias and Diodorus Siculus+ represent it as situated upon the river Euphrates. Nay authors differ not only from one another, but also from themselves. For the learned Bochart hath shown that Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, and Ammianus Marcellinus, all three speak differently of it, sometimes as if it was situated upon the river Tigris, and sometimes as if it was situated upon the river Euphrates. So that to reconcile these authors with themselves and with others, it is supposed by Bochart§ that there were two Ninevehs, and by Sir John
* Το μεν γαρ ύψος είχε το τείχος ποδων έκατον, το δε πλατος τρισιν ἁρμασιν ἱππασιμον ἦν οἱ δε συμπαντες πυργοι τον μεν ἀριθμον ἦσαν χιλιοι και πεντακόσιοι το δ' ύψος είχον ποδων διακοσίων. Nam murus ad C pedum altitudinem exsurgebat, et ad trium latitudinem curruum junctim agitandorum porrectus erat. Turres in eo M D ducentos pedes altæ. Diod. Sic. lib. 2, p. 65, Edit. Steph. p. 92, Edit. Rhod. [Translated in the text.]
+ Diod. Sic. ibid, et p. 80, Edit. Steph. p. 113 Edit. Rhod.
Bocharti Phaleg. lib. 4, cap. 20, col. 248, 249.
§ Non video hæc aliter posse conciliari, quam si dicatur duplex fuisse Ninus; una ad Euphratem in Comagena; altera in Assyria trans Tigrim, &c. [I do not see how these things can otherwise be reconciled, than by supposing that there were two Ninevehs, one on the Euphrates in Comagena, the other beyond the Tigris in Assyria.] Bochart. 'bid'
has sonice haeo
Marsham* that there were three; the Syrian upon the river Euphrates; the Assyrian, upon the river Tigris; and a third built afterwards upon the Tigris by the Persians, who succeeded the Parthians in the empire of the east in the third century, and were subdued by the Saracens in the seventh century after Christ: but whether this later Nineveh was built in the same place as old Nineveh is a question that cannot be decided. Lucian, who flourished in the second century after Christ, affirms that "Nineveh was utterly perished, and there was no footstep of it remaining, nor could you tell where once it was situated :"+ and the greater re- the sele gard is to be paid to Lucian's testimony, as he was a native of Samosata, a city upon the river Euphrates, and coming from a neighbouring country he must in all likelihood have known whether there had been any remains of Nineveh or not. There is at this time a city called Mosul, situate upon the western side of the river Tigris, and on the opposite eastern shore are ruins of a great extent, which are said to be the ruins of Nineveh. "Benjamin of Tudela, who wrote his Itinerary in the year of Christ 1173, informs us, that there is only a bridge between Mosul and Nineveh this latter is laid waste, yet hath it many streets and castles. But another, who wrote in 1300, asserts that Nineveh at present is totally laid waste, but by the ruins which are still to be seen there, we may firmly believe that it was one of the greatest cities in the world."‡ The same thing is attested by later travellers, and particularly by Thevenot, upon whose authority Prideaux relates that " Mosul is situated on the west side of the river Tigris, where was anciently only a suburb of the old Nineveh, for the city itself stood on the
Est igitur (in veterum scriptis) Ninus triplex, Syriaca, Assyriaca, et Persica, &c, [In the writings of the ancients, three Ninevehs are mentioned; the Syrian, Assyrian, and Persian.] Marshami Chron. Sæc. xviii. p. 559.
† ̔Η Νίνος ἀπολωλεν ήδη, και εδενίχνος ἔτι λοιπον αὐτης, εδ ̓ ἂν εἶπης, ὀπε ποτ ̓ ἦν. Ninus jam est eversa, ita ut ne reliquum quidem sit ejus vestigium, nec ubi olim sita fuerit, facile dixeris. Luciani Enix vel Contemplantes, prope finem. [Translated in the
Benjamin Tudelensis (qui scripsit Itinerarium anno Xti 1173) Inter Almozal ait. (p. 62.) et Nineven pons tantum intercedit: Hæc devastata est: attamen multos pagos et arces habet. At vero Haiton Armenius (De Tartar. c. 11, p. 406,) (anno 1300) Ista civitas (Nineve) ad præsens est totaliter devastata.—Marshami Chron. Soc. xviii. p. 558. Sed per ea, quæ adhuc sunt apparentia in eadem, firmiter credi potest quod fuerit una ex majoribus civitatibus hujus mundi.—Idem apud Bochart. Phaleg. lib. 4 cap. 20, col. 255. [Translated in the text.]
§ Thevenot's Travels, part 2, book 1, chap. 11, p 50. Prideaux's Connect. part 1, book 1, anno 612. Josiah 29
east side of the river, where are to be seen some of its ruins of grea extent even to this day." Tavernier likewise affirms, that " cross the Tigris, which hath a swift stream and whitish water, whereas Euphrates runs slow and is reddish, you come to the ancient city Nineveh, which is now an heap of rubbish only, for a league along the river, full of vaults and caverns.' ""* Mr. Salmon, who is an industrious collector and compiler from others, saith in his account of Assyria, "In this country the famous city of Nineveh once stood, on the eastern bank of the river Tigris, opposite to the place where Mosul now stands.There is nothing now to be seen but heaps of rubbish, almost a league along the river Tigris, over against Mosul, which people imagine to be the remains of this vast city."+ But it is more than probable that these ruins are the remains of the Persian Nineveh, and not of the Assyrian. Ipsa periere ruinæ ; Even the ruins of old Nineveh have been, as I may say, long ago ruined and destroyed: such an utter end' hath been made of it, and such is the truth of the divine predictions!
This perhaps may strike us the more strongly by supposing only a parallel instance. Let us then suppose, that a person should come in the name of a prophet, preaching repentance to the people of this kingdom, or otherwise denouncing the destruction of the capital city, within a few years; 'with an overrunning flood will God make an utter end of the place thereof, he will make an utter end; its place may be sought, but it shall never be found.' I presume we should look upon such a prophet as a madman, and show no further attention to his message than to deride and despise it and yet such an event would not be more strange and incredible than the destruction and devastation of Nineveh. For Nineveh was much the larger, and much the stronger, and older city of the two; and the Assyrian empire had subsisted and flourished more ages than any form of government in this country: so that you cannot object the instability of the eastern monarchies in this case. Let us then, since this event would not be more improbable and extraordinary than the other, suppose again, that things should succeed according to the prediction, the floods should arise, and the enemy should come, the city should be overflown and broken down, be taken and pillaged, and destroyed so totally, that even the learned could not agree about the place where it was situated. What would
*Tavernier in Harris. vol. 2, book 2, chap. 4. Salmon's Modern Hist. vol 1, chap. 12.
Present State of the Turkish Empire.