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to be dissipated in emotion. Emotion was to find expression in action, or man's nature was to be hopelessly undermined. And unless thus followed up emotion is ever a dangerous tool to play with, and this is a world's experience.
We have found parallel to the Jew in the Scot, and like the Scots they made most excellent colonists wherever they settled. Whether before the captivity they went much afield we cannot say, but there is some evidence that they did so during the exile. And they took with them the two invaluable assets, a good constitution and a sound education. Thus endowed they proved very adaptable to any new conditions in which they found themselves. Wherever we see a colony of them it is prosperous and respected. Thus at Alexandria they are so numerous and esteemed that it is worth the while of the king to interest himself in the translation of their law. And we are to witness a gradual but very sure progress in their development and importance until, with the advent of our Lord, we are to see in the Jews one of the proud races of the world. It is growth we witness, and this is one of the facts we must not lose sight of in following their history.
8. We thus note the Jew so much child of his environments, but withal there is the still further fact to be noted that whilst Jerusalem and its district was the cradle of a vigorous people, Jerusalem in itself was especially a place to get out of. The Belgium of those times, it was the battle-ground for the neighbouring great contending civilizations on which to fight out their unending disputes. So, not too peaceful. a people themselves—and none but a fierce people: could have maintained themselves in those parts at all --their early history is one long tale of war, of alternate triumph and disaster. To realize their position it is well to glance at a summary of their fortunes after settlement in Canaan. Grant, as some contend, that the story is not historically authentic and the dates conventional, yet even if it be no more than traditional it shows what in song and legend it was thought to have been.
1451. Jews under Joshua enter Canaan.
1116. Again enslaved by Philistines. Then follow the wars of Saul and David, with varying fortune :
1040. David recovers ark from Philistines.
887. Jerusalem sacked by Philistines and Arabs. About this period Assyria is the general terror of the land.
826. Israel massacres inhabitants of Jerusalem. 750. Menahem, King of Israel, buy's off Assyria
with 1,000 talents of silver. 741. Pekah, King of Israel, ravages Judah;
takes 200,000 captives to Samaria. 740. Tiglath Pileser II. overruns Israel. 730. Ahaz, King of Judah, seeks help of Assyria
against Israel, and becomes her vassal. 723. Instigated by Egypt, Israel rebels against
Assyria. 722. Sargon defeats Egypt at Raphia. 721. Sargon captures Samaria: ends Israel
and carries away captive 27,280 of the
people. 712 (?). Sennacherib overruns Judah. Heze
kiah pays tribute as vassal. 701. Sennacherib defeats Egyptians at Eltekeh. Besieges Jerusalem. His army destroyed
by plague. 672. Esarhaddon invades Egypt. Judah appar
ently involved; Manasseh carried captive into Assyria. On being restored is faith
ful as its vassal. 610. Josiah, faithful to Assyria, opposes
Pharaoh Necho II. at Megiddo, and is killed. Pharaoh Necho takes Jerusalem. Judith, probably, somewhere between these
dates. 605. Necho II. makes expedition against Assy
rian: is defeated at Carchemish by Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar sends
captain to subdue Syria, Judah, &c. 598. Judah having rebelled, Nebuchadnezzar
takes and plunders Jerusalem, carries away 10,000 of the princes, warriors,
and smiths of the city. 588. Prompted by Egypt, Judah again rebels.
Nebuchadnezzar invests Jerusalem, but
raises siege to fight Egyptians. 586. Egypt disposed of, Nebuchadnezzar re
duces Jerusalem by starvation after siege
of nearly eighteen months. Most of the dates are of disasters. Probably in addition they suffered terribly from Scythian hordes, as told in such tremendous language in Jeremiah iv., V., and vi. No doubt there were intermediate dates of success, but even successful war is only just less horrible than when unsuccessful, as we in these days can also testify.
9. Such their history until the captivity. Even for those days they had more than their due share of trouble. It may have been that they were a warlike race, ever ready to hit back, or it may have been the history--though untold-of every small nation unable to make itself respected by its numbers and power. It may be that their unhappy record was due to the way that they themselves had become possessed
ancen folved. Noelial the fierces allies
of the land, with the result that from then on their hand was against every man, and every man's hand against them. Or it may have been, having regard to the years that had passed and the common history in this respect of all nations, that the key to their misfortunes was that they were on the highway between Egypt and the other great powers to which we have referred, aond that with one or other of them, save with shortest intervals, Egypt was ever at variance. And in those variances Palestine was of necessity involved. No general could ignore its cities and peoples, and in especial the fierce warriors of the hills. They had either to be secured as allies or crushed as enemies before the more serious campaign could be proceeded with. Alexander invading Egypt was held up by Gaza, which he was able to take only after a two-months' arduous siege. Tyre similarly withstood him for another seven months. And then she succumbed to his incomparable genius alone. For two thousand four hundred years she had never known the foot of conqueror. Thus Herodotus. And Egypt, impregnable save from the sea and through the isthmus, gateway to Asia, made it a capital part of her policy to maintain satisfactory relations with these buffer states as they now would be termed. She was no inconsiderate neighbour, but it was far from safe for these unfortunates to even be her allies. Egypt too often proved the broken reed of the prophets. We have seen how the Jews fared when, thinking the Assyrian no longer of account, they refused to assist Nebuchadnezzar in his wars with the Medes. And Egypt crushed, bitterly were they to rue his displeasure. But, then, only some five years before it had proved as disastrous not to accept the dangerous friendship of the Egyptian, as witness B.C. 610, when Jerusalem had been captured by Pharaoh Necho. In fact, Jewish politics in those days were very simple in theory, but infinitely difficult in practice. It was all vital for them to back the winning side. There was for them no such thing as an armed neutrality. They could not stand aside and let foes fight out a quarrel in which they had no concern. With one or other they had to throw in their lot. Let them have the fortune to choose aright and a moderate tribute placated their great and dangerous ally. But make a mistake-and it was city destroyed, country ravaged, women violated, children massacred, and themselves blinded and captive, even if they escaped being crucified or impaled. No wonder faction-frenzy ran high. No wonder the violence of divided opinion as to which enemy-how they loathed them both !-was the stronger. And so we have priest denouncing prophet, prophet denouncing priest; and maybe a puppet king tossed between the two; all hysterically certain that safety is to be found in their counsel alone. And what if, after the manner of the East, each is insistent that he and he alone is mouthpiece of their God? And a wrong decision in the end, and it is woe on woe and nothing left but blank despair, the blacker for the wild reproaches and bitter invective of those whose counsels have been despised.
Yes, Judea in those days was a happy place to live in. To be weak was to be wretched. And if their hearts were full of fury against their enemies and neighbours-neighbours who had been more fortunate in their prognosis of events and now made sport of them in the dust—is it to be wondered at? They were like a poor persecuted cat baited by dogs. Maybe, opportunity offering, they turned savagely at bay and were then terrible and dangerous. And crushed and ring-fenced in with those that hated them and those they hated, their outpourings are terrible in their vindictive rage, but so natural. Hunted by every man, they had been more than human if some such sentiments had never escaped them. Exquisite in beauty and pathos their song in exile to which we have referred, but awful and dread its finale of passion : “ Happy shall he be that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones." We hear the emphasis, “ Thy little ones," for had he not seen his own thus done
they hated in with the dangerous. Andly at bay and