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telligent * in the present day, in opposition to the description of those, who were contemporaries and witnesses of the particulars which they relate, and who, if they had stated falsehoods, could not have excited the respect which they received.
* As Shaw, Maundrell, &c.
On the Heathen Testimonies which verify
the Accomplishment of the Jewish Prophecies.
The accounts in profane history, which bear record to the completion of the Jewish prophecies, are so numerous that they will scarcely admit of any summary statement.
A concise sketch of the subject in its outline, and more remarkable illustrations, is all that can be here attempted, and a reference to more enlarged and detailed expositions will be made in the notes, in order that those, who wish to pursue enquiries, may be furnished with some lines of direction.
The accomplishment of the prophecies. which related to the descendants of the Patrie archs, and especially to the tribe of Judah, as likewise of those, which respected the different nations rendered instrumental to the punishment of the Jews, or become the objects of Divine displeasure for their conduct towards them, may be exemplified in some striking instances.
Thus the character and fate of the descendants of Noah; the enlargement of Japhet; the ascendancy of the posterity of Shem; the servitude of Canaan; the multiplication of the seed of Abraham in Isaac; and the preservation of the line of Ishmael in the Arabs distinctly characterized, are confirmed by every part of ancient and modern history *
The prophecies relating to the destruction of Nineveh t, Babylon , and Tyre ; the base and permanent degradation of Egypt || ; and the victories of Cyrus, foretold by name two centuries before his appearance, in a manner which does not occur in any other instance, are eminently entitled to attention.
The whole passage from Isaiah, relative to
* See Newton's Dissert. on the Prophecies, vol. i. c. 2, for Heathen testimonies.
+ Comp. Nahum and Zephaniah with Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, and Lucian.
I Comp. Jeremiah and Isaiah with Herodotus, Xenophon, and Arrian.
Ś Comp. Ezekiel with Joseph. cont. Apion, lib. i. g. 21. Antiq. lib. x. c. 7, and Quintus Curtius, lib. iv. c. 4.
|| Ezekiel xxix. 14, 15. 18, 19. comp. with Joseph. lib. x. c. 6. 9. Euseb. præp. Evang. lib. ix. c. 40. Herod. Diod. Sicul. Plin. Maxim. Tyrius. Polyæn. Stratag. 1. 7. c. 9. Justin.
this conqueror, is so remarkable, and specifies particulars so exactly fulfilled, that no part of it should be omitted.
For thus said the Lord, of Cyrus, “ He “ is my Shepherd, and shall perform all my “ pleasure ; even saying to Jerusalem, thou " shalt be built; and to the temple, thy “ foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the “ Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose “ right hand I have holden, to subdue na66 tions before him; and I will loose the loins " of kings, to open before him the two" leaved gates; and the gates shall not be
os shut: I will go before thee, and make the : “ crooked places, straight. I will break in " pieces the gates of brass ; and cut in sun“ der the bars of iron: and I will give thee “ the treasures of darkness, and hidden “ riches of secret places *, that thou mayest «know that I, the Lord, which call thee by " thy name, am the God of Israel. For 6 Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine 46 elect, I have even called thee by thy “ name; I have surnamed thee, though thou 56 hast not known me. I am the Lord, and os there is none else, there is no God beside
* See Plin. lib. xxxii, c. 15. Edit. Harduin.
“ me: I girded thee, though thou hast not “ known me; that they may know from the “ rising of the Sun, and from the West, that " there is none besides me. I am the Lord, “ and there is none else *.”
If, after reading this prophecy, we consider the character and history of Cyrus, as described by Xenophon, who, in the very language of Isaiah, styles him God's Shepherd, together with the accounts of his victories and of the capture of Babylon, we cannot but be struck with the conviction, that the great and distinguished qualities, by which he was rendered, what Isaiah pourtrays him to be, “a man more precious than fine gold, " than the golden wedge of Ophir t,” were bestowed upon him by an especial appointment of Providence, to render him capable of “punishing the world for their evil, and " the wicked for their iniquity, and to cause " the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and “ lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.”
Cyrus seems to have considered himself as destined by the Fates to empire, he gave out as the signal for battle, “ Jupiter
* Isaiah xliv. 28. xlv. 1–6. + Ibid. xiii. 11, 12. | Herod. Clio. 1. 204. 209, 210.