« PreviousContinue »
17.Open the window eastward.'— The country which casions which call for them. The most eminent of the the Syrians had taken from Israel lay due east of Samaria; prophets, since Moses, was given to the most corrupt time; or, as the indications of the cardinal points of the compass in which only a man of his indomitable, ardent, and almost include intermediate directions, the point called .east' may fierce spirit could have been equal to the fiery and almost have been north-east, towards the proper territory of the single-handed struggle for God against principalities and Syrians.
powers. Elisha fell in milder times, and was correspondShoot.'—This was a symbolical declaration of war ingly of a milder character, although he was not found against Syria, and the ensuing action of striking on the unequal to any of the more trying circumstances which ground denoted the result of the war thus symbolically arose during the period of his prophetic administration. indicated. It was a custom among the Romans to declare Indeed, his conduct on such occasions was such as to sugwar against a nation by deputing the chief of the feciales gest that it was only the milder spirit of the time on which to go to its confines, and, after declaring in a loud voice he fell, precluding occasiou for their exercise, that prethe reasons for going to war, to throw a javelin into its vented the manifestation in him of that grander ciass of territory. In later times, when they came to have wars endowments which his predecessor displayed. As it was, with remote nations, this custom became inconvenient or Elisha, instead of being, like his master, driven by perseimpracticable ; and then the ceremony was performed at cution from the haunts of men to the deserts and the Rome in a field, which, from this appropriation, was called mountains, and reduced to a state of dependence on the. ager hostilis. This custom is said to have been borrowed special providence of God for the bread he ate and the from the Greeks, most of whose more remarkable usages water he drank, enjoyed a sufficiency of all things, and may be traced to the East. This act must have quite ap- lived in honour and esteem among his countrymen; and prized the king of the prophet's intention, even if he had even among the purple and fine linen of kings courts, the not himself explained it by calling the arrow the arrow rough mantle of the prophet was regarded with respect. of the Lord's deliverance from Syria :' and this explains 21. ' They cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha.'why Elisha was not only sorry but angry that the king, The remains of the prophet were of course deposited in a after such preparation, smote only three times upon the cave, apparently in some field or garden; and the bearers, ground.
in conveying this man's corpse to his own sepulchre, being 20. • Elisha died.'- In the history of his own times the alarmed at the appearance of the predatory band of prophet Elisha occupies nearly as conspicuous a place as Moabites, placed their burden in Elisha's sepulchre, which Elijah did in the reign of Ahab. The wonders wrought seems to have been near at hand; and for this purpose by his hands were numerous ; but they were less signal, they had only to remove the stone which probably closed less directed to public objects, and less attended with public the entrance to the cave. See the note to Gen. xxiii. 19. and important results than those of his master. Indeed, Touched the bones of Elisha:- The remains of his national acts were less considerable than those of Elisha were no doubt, as Josephus states, very honourably Elijah ; and although he possessed great influence, and interred; yet it seems clear from this that he was not dewas undoubtedly the foremost man of his age, he wanted posited in a coffin. We have stated in the notes to Gen. those energies of character and that consuming zeal which xxiii. 19, and i. 26, that it is not an eastern custom to his predecessor manifested; or, perhaps more correctly, place a dead body in a coffin ; whether it is to be deposited the exigencies of the times were not such as to call for the in a sepulchre or in a grave, it is swathed only. This exercise of such endowments as had been possessed by was also the ancient custom, with some exceptions, as Elijah. But although those of his successor were different stated in the notes to which we refer. It is still more in their kind, we know not that, with regard to the differ- clear that the man, thus miraculously delivered from the ing time, they were less useful or eminent. In this and in power of the grave, was not enclosed in a coffin, or even a thousand historical examples, more especially in the swathed in such a manner as to prevent him from getting history of the Hebrews, we see men raised up for, and upon his feet when life returned. proportioned to, the times in which they live, and the oc
4 Howbeit the high places were not taken 1 Amaziah's good reign. 5 His justice on the mur
away: as yet the people did sacrifice and
burnt incense on the high places. derers of his father. 7 His victory over Edom. 8 Amaziah, provoking Jehoash, is overcome and
5 T And it came to pass, as soon as the spoiled. 16 Jeroboam succeedeth Jehoash. 17 kingdom was confirmed in his hand, that he Amaziah slain by a conspiracy. 21 Azariah suc- slew his servants 'which had slain the king his ceedeth him. 23 Jeroboam's wicked reign. 29 Za- father. chariah succeedeth him.
6 But the children of the murderers he slew In the second year of Joash son of Jehoahaz not: according unto that which is written in king of Israel reigned 'Amaziah the son of the book of the law of Moses, wherein the Joash king of Judah.
LORD commanded, saying, "The fathers shall 2 He was twenty and five years old when not be put to death for the children, nor the he began to reign, and reigned twenty and children be put to death for the fathers; but nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother's every man shall be put to death for his own name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.
3 And he did that which was right in the 7 9 He slew of Edom in the valley of salt sight of the LORD, yet not like David his ten thousand, and took 'Selah by war, and father: he did according to all things as Joash | called the name of it Joktheel unto this day. his father did.
8 . Then Amaziah sent messengers to 9 Chap. 12. 20.
Or, the rock.
3 Deut, 24. 16. Eek. 18, 20.
* 1 2 Chron. 25. 1.
Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, are they not written in the book of the chroking of Israel, saying, Come, let us look one nicles of the kings of Judah ? another in the face.
19 Now "they made a conspiracy against 9 And Jehoash the king of Israel sent to him in Jerusalem : and he fled to Lachish; Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle but they sent after him to Lachish, and slew that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was him there.
in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my 20 And they brought him on horses : and
son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in that was in Lebanon, and trode down the the city of David. thistle.
21 T And all the people of Judah took 10 Thou hast indeed smitten Edom, and "Azariah, which was sixteen years old, and thine heart hath lifted thee up: glory of this, made him king instead of his father Amaand tarry 'at home: for why shouldest thou ziah. meddle to thy hurt, that thou shouldest fall, 22 He built Elath, and restored it to even thou, and Judah with thee?
Judah, after that the king slept with his 11 But Amaziah would not hear. There- fathers. fore Jehoash king of Israel went up ; and he 23 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the and Amaziah king of Judah looked one an- son of Joash king of Judah Jeroboam the son other in the face at Beth-shemesh, which be- of Joash king of Israel began to reign in longeth to Judah.
Samaria, and reigned forty and one years. 12 And Judah ‘was put to the worse be- 24 And he did that which was evil in the fore Israel ; and they fled every man to their sight of the LORD: he departed not from all tents.
the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who 13 And Jehoash king of Israel took Ama- made Israel to sin. ziah king of Judah, the son of Jehoash the 25 He restored the coast of Israel from the son of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh, and came entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of according to the word of the LORD God of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim unto the Israel, which he spake by the hand of his sercorner gate, four hundred cubits.
vant 'Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, 14 And he took all the gold and silver, which was of Gath-hepher. and all the vessels that were found in the 26 For the LORD saw the affliction of house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the Israel, that it was very bitter : for there was king's house, and hostages, and returned to not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper Samaria.
for Israel. 15 | Now the rest of the acts of Jehoash 27 And the LORD said not that he would which he did, and his might, and how he blot out the name of Israel from under heaven: fought with Amaziah king of Judah, are they but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam not written in the book of the chronicles of the the son of Joash. kings of Israel ?
28 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, 16 And Jehoash slept with his fathers, and and all that he did, and his might, how he was buried in Samaria with the kings of warred, and how he recovered Damascus, and Israel ; and Jeroboam his son reigned in his Hamath, which belonged to Judah, for Israel, stead.
are they not written in the book of the chro17 | And Amaziah the son of Joash king nicles of the kings of Israel ? of Judah lived after the death of Jehoash son 29 And Jeroboam slept with his fathers, of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years. even with the kings of Israel; and Zachariah
18 And the rest of the acts of Amaziah, his son reigned in his stead. 5 Heb. at thy house.
8 2 Chron. 26. 1, he is called Uzziah. 9 Matth. 12. 39. 40, called Jonas.
6 leb, was smitten.
7 2 Chron. 25. 27.
Verse 7. • Valley of salt.—The king of Judah being on his way to the capital of Edom, the Edomites met him and gave him battle in the Valley of Salt; and after their defeat the king continued his march to Selah, which he took and called it Joktheel. Whatever theory be taken with respect to the capital of Edom, the probability remains nearly the same, that the Valley of Salt' was the salt and sandy plain to the south of the Dead Sea. On
several occasions we have spoken of the Ghor, or valley, which extends from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Akaba. But it is to be understood that at present the valley is closed, at about twelve miles to the south of the bay in which the sea terminates, by a sandy cliff, about sixty or eighty feet high, which runs across the valley, and forms a southern margin for the basin of the sea when its waters are at their greatest height. To the south of this sandcliff, however, the valley extends, without interruption, to the above extract speaks, with those that cross the Ghor the Red Sea. The depressed plain or valley enclosed be. more to the south. The present are those which form the tween this sand-cliff and the extremity of the sea, to which southern expansion of that narrow ravine through which we may add the broad castern margin of the southern bay, the plain is approached from the west; and which, in fact, which partakes of the same character, does, we have little form part of the western, not the southern, boundary of doubt, form the Valley of Salt' of the present text. This the plain. It seems that the plain itself, which, properly plain or valley has been traversed and amply described by speaking, is part of the bed of the Dead Sea, becomes in Captains Irby and Mangles, in their valuable Travels. part a marsh when the water is high during the wet season, Their description is the more interesting, as they entered but, when that is over, is soon dried by the effects of evathe valley by the very road from Jerusalem and Hebron poration. The plain must be dry and firm during the which must needs have been taken by the armies of Judah. greater part of the year, for Irby and Mangles found it so After descending from the western hills, they say, “We as early as the month of May, with the exception that entered the great plain at the end of the Dead Sea : for water still remained in some of the drains (six in all) in about a quarter of an hour we had few bushes, and after- that part contiguous to the sea. The travellers do not wards found the soil sandy and perfectly barren. On our speak of any saline incrustation or impregnation in the right we had a continued hill of sandy soil, running in a • barren flats' thus formed; but this must be the case, not south-east and north-west direction towards the middle of only from the strongly saline character of the evaporated the plain.' In a ravine at the side of this hill they tarried water, and from the cliffs and rocks of salt already noticed, for the night, and collected a quantity of wood, which the but from the fact that, in a subsequent visit to the part of Dead Sea had thrown up at high-water mark, and endea. the valley east of the southern bay, the remarkably saline voured to make a fire, in order to bake bread, as we had character of the dried soil is particularly mentioned. None flour. The wood was, however, so impregnated with salt, of these phenomena are singular. The salt lake of Ourmiah, that all our efforts were unavailing.' On proceeding across in Persia, leaves, in like manner, during the dry season, an the plain the next morning they had still the same sand- extensive plain, saturated or incrusted with saline matter, hill on their right. We found, exclusive of the saline and perfectly barren. (See the general note on the Dead appearance left by the retiring of the waters, several large Sea, under Gen. xix. 25.) fragments of clear rock-salt lying on the ground; and, on - . He took Selah by war, and called the name of it Jokexamining the hill, we found it composed partly of salt theel.'—Selah means a rock;' and as the Greek name for and partly of hardened sand. In many instances the salt the chief town of the Nabathæan Edomites, Petra, has prewas hanging from cliffs in clear perpendicular points like cisely the same signification, it is, not without reason, conicicles; and we observed numerous strata of that material, ceived by some writers that the town which the Greeks of considerable thickness, having very little sand mixed knew as Petra is here and elsewhere denoted. We rather with it. Strabo mentions that, " to the southward of the incline to this opinion, which has also the strong support Dead Sea there are towns and cities built entirely of salt;" of Eusebius and Jerome, who both describe Petra as a and, although such an account seems strange, yet, when city of Arabia, in the land of Edom, which is also called we contemplated the scene before us, it did not seem very Jectuel. It is true that, in the Hebrew text, the word, in inprobable. The torrents, during the rainy season, had this and other places, may be read as an appellative rather brought down immense masses of salt; and we observed than as a proper name, and that it is so read by the Septuathat the strata were generally in perpendicular lines. The gint and Vulgate (but not the Syriac and Arabic); but as reader will be careful not to confound the cliffs of which the versions, particularly the Septuagint, often turn the sig.
nificant proper names of the Hebrew iuto appellatives, we but have failed to discover that any one authority is cited are not disposed to lay much stress on this; and even did in proof that Kerak ever was called Petra in ancient times. we allow that Selah is an appellative, it would be open to The only passage bearing an aspect of truth is the followus to conteud that a place so emphatically indicated as the ing :
:- When the Macedonian Greeks first became acrock was most probably the same which is allowed to have quainted with this part of Syria, by means of the expedition borne a proper name of the same import. In other words, which Autigonus sent against the Nabatæi, under the coma place distinguished as the rock is the most likely to be mand of his son Demetrius, we are informed by Diodorus that to which the proper name of the same meaning, that these Arabs placed their old men, women, and children, whether Selah or Petra, would be given. This will be upon a certain rock (éAL TIVOS Tetpas), steep, unfortified by allowed by any one who considers the universal process in walls, admitting only of one access to the summit, and topographical nomenclature, under which, distinguishing situated 300 stades beyond the lake Asphaltitis. As this appellatives become, in process of time, fixed as proper interval agrees with that of Kerak from the southern exnames. However, as we are not willing to raise an argu- tremity of the Dead Sea, and is not above half the distance ment on the question, whether such a word is to be under- of Wady Musa from the same point; and as the other stood as a proper name or an appellative, we are content parts of the description are well adapted to Kerak, while with the probability, in connection with the other and they are inapplicable to Wady Musa, we can hardly doubt stronger probability, that the chief town of Mount Seir, that Kerak was at that time the fortress of the Nabatæi ; even if not expressly named, is at least indicated and re- and that, during the first ages of the intercourse of that ferred to in the history and prophecy of the Old Testament. people with the Greeks, it was known to the latter by the In their denunciations against a country the prophets con- name of Petra, so often applied by them to barbarian hilltinually refer to its chief town; and, unless there was an posts. After this, Col. Leake goes on to infer (for no exception in this instance, they did so in their copious pro- proof is adduced) that subsequently, when the effects of phecies against Edom. But that there is in this case no commerce required a situation better adapted than Kerak exception is evident from topographical indications, to to the collected population and the increased opulence of which we shall find a future occasion to refer. Now the
the Nabatæi, the appellative of Petra was transferred to chief town of Fdom was Petra ; and, as the prophets who the new city at Wady Musa. But ultimately, when the foretold its doom were not long posterior to the date of stream of commerce had partly reverted to its old Egyptian the transaction before us, it becomes probable that the pre- channel and had partly taken the new course by Palmyra, sent history has the same principal city of Edom in view; the city at Wady Musa became gradually depopulated; particularly when we fiud it bearing a name analogous to and, in the end, Kerak came again io be considered by ihat which the metropolis of Edom certainly bore. We travellers as Petra, because the existence of the ruined are, however, more anxious to shew that the prophecies city in Wady Musa has only lately been brought to light, refer to Petra than that the present history does so. The and because Kerak was the priucipal place, and the only former point we consider certain, and the latter sufficiently place with a Christian community, remaining in the dioprobable to afford us an opportunity of entertaining the cese of the Greek church which retains the old title of general subject, which now turns upon the question, the bishopric of Petra, originally derived from the Petra Where was Petra ?'
of Wady Musa. The last sentence affords an explanation, This is a point concerning which it is necessary to have in which we gladly acquiesce, of how Kerak came to be a distinct understanding; for if the Idumæan town to which identified with Petra ; and we only demur at the almost the Scriptures refer be not the excavated city of Wady contradictory opinion, that, in remote antiquity, Kerak was Musa, near Mount Hor, we lose much of the force of that the crowning city' of the Nabatæans, which was distinsatisfactory and beautiful evidence to the divine authority guished by this name. of the sacred writers, which may be deduced from the The following are among the considerations which leave complete correspondence of their predictions with the ex- us satisfied to rest in a contrary conclusion to that which isting condition of Edom. This correspondence has been we have here stated with all the force that can be given to only lately discovered ; and, as something new, it has en- it. We must state them in the form of a bare abstract, gaged more attention than old truths, however valuable, without that full exposition from collateral considerations would have been likely to obtain. With respect to Edom, by which they would be very materially strengthened. "In we purpose here to lay the foundation for future illustration
the first place, the passage in Diodorus does not say that by shewing, what we think has not yet been done satis- the place in question was the city called Petra, but that factorily, that the city of Wady Musa was the town of there was a rock to which the inhabitants retreated, and Edom which Scripture history and prophecy have in view, which served them as a natural fortress. Now, if, because
Two places have been made to contend for the dis- Petra means a rock, this rock is to be regarded as Petra, tinction of being the ancient Petra, One is the existing there is no reason why Petra should not be sought wherever town of Kerak, about eight miles due east from the a rock happens to be historically mentioned in the rocky southern bay of the Dead Sea, the other is the forsaken country of the Edomites. Thus, then, if the rock' were and desolated city in Wady Musa, near Mount Hor. The at the Kerak east of the Dead Sea, we do not see that this conditions of the question are rather peculiar. No one Kerak was therefore necessarily Petra. But, on the other now denies that the city in Wady Musa was Petra. The hand, allowing that Diodorus had Petra in view, we think learned editor of Burckhardt's Travels in Syria has proved it might be shewn that it was more probably Wady Musa this from the concurrent testimony of ancient writers; but, than Kerak. He does not say that the rock was east of unfortunately, the same accomplished geographer has taken the Dead Sea, nor that it was 300 stades from that sea; up the opinion, that, previously to the time of the Mace- but that, after the affair at the rock, the Greeks marched donian conquests, the present Kerak was Petra and the 300 stades to the neighbourhood of the Dead Sea. It may principal town of the Nabathæans, and this consideration therefore have been south of the Sea, and the loose indicawill of course exclude the Petra of Wady Musa entirely tion of distance would allow it without violence to have from the cognizance of the sacred writers, the canon of been as far south as Wady Musa. In fact, Major Rennell, Old Testament Scripture having been closed considerably who in his determination of the site could of course take anterior to the appearance of the Macedonians in Asia. no cognizance of the recent discoveries in Wady Musa, But it seems to us no difficult matter to disprove this cites this very passage of Diodorus among his ancient auposition. To do so with completeness would require a
thorities for placing Petra at another Kerak (Kerak eshlengthened dissertation, which would scarcely interest our Shobek), south of the Dead Sea, and in the immediate readers; but we may briefly state a few considerations vicinity of Wady Musa ; which, taken as a conclusion inwhich will, we think, reduce the probabilities which seem dependent of recent discoveries, is a most remarkable and in favour of the conclusion to which we are opposed. We valuable corroboration. Again, if the more northern have repeatedly read with great attention the statement on Kerak had been Petra at the time to which Diodorus the subject, which we find in the Preface to Burckhardt, refers, this would prove it to have been not the more
ancient but a more modern Petra. We allow the station time of Solomon; and the very reasons of commercial may have belonged then to the Edomites, because they advantage which are thought to have dictated the ultimate encroached northward, after the captivity, into what had removal to Wady Musa, must have equally operated at an formed the dominion of Judah on the one side of the earlier period-Kerak being most disadvantageously situDead Sea, and of Moab and Ammon on the other. But ated as the capital of a people possessing the commerce of the that it could not have been a principal town or any town Red Sea. Furthermore, we have seen that Jerome says that of the Edomites, in the time of the inspired writers of the Joktheel was Petra ; and he, of all men, was likely to have Old Testament, is clear from the fact that its site was known if Kerak was or ever had been the ancient Petra ; then in the territory of Moab, on the borders of Ammon. but he says that Petra was near Mount Hor, and BurckIf any proof of this were wanting, it is found in the fact hardt and his learned editor were the first to receive and mentioned by Burckhardt's editor himself, that Kerak was confirm the local traditions which determine Mount Hor called Charax by the Greeks, to which the Romans added to have been one of the mountains near Wady Musa. In Omanorum (Kerak of Ammon) to distinguish it from the conclusion, we may add that the prophetic intimations more southern Kerak; and the Greeks themselves, for the concerning Edom receive no illustration from Kerak, but same purpose, referred it to Moab, in the name of Charag- correspond with astonishing precision to the present apmoba. We think these considerations demonstrate that pearances presented by the remains of the wonderful city Kerak could not have been a town of the Idưmæans before in Wady Musa : and, although the consideration has been the Captivity; nor could it therefore be mentioned or generally overlooked, we shall ever be disposed to contend alluded to as such by the sacred writers. And if the that the prophetic intimations concerning the (then future prior claims of Kerak be dismissed, no one will dispute but now present) condition of towns, furnish the very best those of the town in Wady Musa. We might rest here: and most
authoritative data by which the sites of such places but we will add that the Edomites were a great people, may be determined. At present we have given a cut from established between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea (the Laborde, shewing one of the aspects in which this wondersea of Edom), when the Israelites were about to enter the ful city, with its sculptured and excavated cliffs, appears; Promised Land, and the history of the transactions between reserving the descriptive details to be given in connection the two nations appear to demonstrate that the capital of with these prophecies, which they will contribute to illusEdom was even then to the south of the Dead Sea. They trate. (See the historical note on the Edomites, under were also obviously a great commercial people before the Gen. xxxvi. 2.)
they buried him with his fathers in the city of
David : and Jotham his son reigned in his 1 Azariah's good reign. 5 He dying a leper, Jotham stead.
succeedeth. 8 Zachariah, the last of Jehu's generation, reigning ill, is slain by Shallum. 13 Shallum,
8 | In the thirty and eighth year of reigning a month, is slain by Menahem. 16 Me- Azariah king of Judah did Zachariah the son nahem strengtheneth himself by Pul., .21, Pekahigh of Jeroboam reign over Israel in Samaria six succeedeth him. 23 Pekahiah is slain by Pekah. months. 27 Pekah is oppressed by Tiglath-pileser, and slain
9 And he did that which was evil in the by Hoshea. 32 Jotham's good reign. 36 Ahaz succeedeth him.
sight of the LORD, as his fathers had done :
he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the In the twenty and seventh year of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. king of Israel began Azariah son of Amaziah 10 And Shallum the son of Jabesh conking of Judah to reign.
spired against him, and smote him before the 2 Sixteen years old was he when he began people, and slew him, and reigned in his to reign, and he reigned two and fifty years in
stead. Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Je- 11 And the rest of the acts of Zachariah, choliah of Jerusalem.
behold, they are written in the book of the 3 And he did thut which was right in the chronicles of the kings of Israel. sight of the LORD, according to all that his 12 This was 'the word of the LORD which father Amaziah had done;
he spake unto Jehu, saying, Thy sons shall sit 4 Save that the high places were not re- on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generamoved : the people sacrificed and burnt incense
tion. And so it came to pass. still on the high places.
13 | Shallum the son of Jabesh began to 5 And the LORD smote the king, so that reign in the nine and thirtieth year of 'Uzziah he was a leper unto the day of his death, and king of Judah ; and he reigned a full month dwelt in a several house. And Jotham the in Samaria. king's son was over the house, judging the 14 For Menahem the son of Gadi went up people of the land.
from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and smote 6 And the rest of the acts of Azariah, and Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and all that he did, are they not written in the slew him, and reigned in his stead. book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah ? 15 And the rest of the acts of Shallum, and 7 So Azariah slept with his fathers; and his conspiracy which he made, behold, they 1 Chap. 10. 30. 2 Matth. 1. 8, 9, called Ozias.
& Heb. a month of days.