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benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to and the men of Hamath made Ashima,

them: 31 And the Avites made Nibhaz and 36 But the LORD, who brought you up out Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their chil of the land of Egypt with great power and á dren in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him the gods of Sepharvaim.

shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice. 32 So they feared the LORD, and made unto 37 And the statutes, and the ordinances, themselves of the lowest of them priests of the and the law, and the commandment, which he high places, which sacrificed for them in the wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for everhouses of the high places.

more; and ye shall not fear other gods... 33 "They feared the LORD, and served 38 And the covenant that I have made with their own gods, after the manner of the nations you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear "whom they carried away from thence. other gods.

34 Unto this day they do after the former 39 But the LORD your God ye shall fear; manners: they fear not the LORD, neither do and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all they after their statutes, or after their ordi. your enemies. nances, or after the law and commandment 40 Howbeit they did not hearken, but they which the LORD commanded the children of did after their former manner. Jacob, "whom he named Israel ;

41 So these nations feared the Lord, and 35 With whom the Lord had made a served their graven images, both their chilcovenant, and charged them, saying, "Ye dren, and their children's children: as did shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves | their fathers, so do they unto this day. 10 Zeph. 1.5. 11 Or, who carried them dway from thence. 12 Gen. 32. 28. i Kings 18, 31. 13 Judges 6. 8-10.

Verse 3. Shalmaneser.'—This prince is called simply | disposed to adopt the other alternative, which supposes the Shalman in Hos. x. 14. He was the successor of Tiglath åct to be ceremonial. The chief reasons for this conclupileser, and, according to Hales, his reign extended from sion are—that 'passing through’is an action of life, not of 726 to 714 B.C. Besides the final subversion of the king death; and that there are numerous traces of such an dom of Israel by this prince, as recorded in this chapter, action, as a ceremony, among various idolatrous nations Josephus preserves a passage from the archives of Tyre,

of ancient and modern times. It will be observed that this from which it appears that the Assyrian king over-ran | passing through the fire was in honour of Moloch; and to Phænicia also, and received the submission of all the this rite of this .grim idol' the Rabbi David D'Beth country except ?'yrc. The elder Tyre (Palæ-Tyrus), Sidon, Hillel thinks he sees an analogy in a remarkable ceremony Acre, and other towns, seem to have been glad of the op which he witnessed at Madras, in 1832.* • In the Choolay portunity of exchanging the yoke of their dominant neigh bazaar is a pagoda called Damarajah, nigh the gate of bour for that of a foreign power; for they assisted the which was put a heap of wood at 5 o'clock, P.M.; they set Assyrian with a fleet of sixty ships, which the Tyrians fire to this and burned it till past 6 o'clock, till it became defeated with only twelve ships. Upon this, Shalmaneser charcoal ; after which they spread the charcoal over the advanced to Tyre and kept it in a state of blockade for ground to about ten cubits length and five broad. They five years, when his death occasioned the undertaking to be do not allow any one to take a single charcoal ; when one discontinued. This is very similar to what happened on had taken a small charcoal to burn his cheroot, they cried other occasions, as Heeren remarks. While the Phænician with him aloud until he was obliged to return it before states under the control of Tyre readily submitted to foreign burning his cheroot. During the time of the burning of invaders, the free and sovereign Tyre herself offered a vigor the fire, people were riding on an elephant, and on a ous and powerful opposition to the most famous conquerors camel covered with red cloth, and standing nigh the fire;

Alexander himself not excepted. [APPENDIX, No. 46.) then different kinds of images passed around the fire. 4. • So king of Egypt.'-This So--the Sabaco of profane

About half past six they brought out two images, one of a authors, the Sabakoph of the monuments-was an Ethiopian woman and the other of a swan, decorated with different who ruled in Egypt, and whose right to the crown may flowers, and they surrounded the fire-place with music and have been (at least in part) derived from marriage, firing of guns, and then they went away. About a quarter although Herodotus represents' him as solely an intrusive of an hour after they returned back again with about fifty conqueror. He reigned fifty years, when, being warned people, mostly naked and barefoot, and their bodies yellow by an oracle, he resigned his dominion and withdrew to

marked, and they walked around the fire circle three his own country. His name occurs at Abydos, and the times, and after that they walked barefoot above the fire. respect paid to his memory by his successors may be held

I was astonished at this work, but could not stay longer to to imply that his dominion was not regarded as a wrongful see the end of it, owing to the multitude of people, who usurpation. Hales conjectures that the true cause of his

cared not for anybody. I remained nearly deprived of leaving Egypt may have been the apprehension of an As

breath from their pushing me. I went hoine, and on the syrian war, which he had perhaps in the first instance next day. I sent for one of the Pooshalies or priests of this sought to avert, by prompting the king of Israel to rebel pagoda, and inquired concerning this conduct, and the against Shalmaneser. [APPENDIX, No. 47.]

origin of it. He said to me that its origin had emanated 17. And they caused their sons and daughters to pass from one woman whom they call Nullahlanga-deva, the through the fire, and used divination and enchantments. wife of Shago-deva, which was one of the hundred kings. It is disputed whether by causing children to pass through the fire,'-an idolatrous act so often mentioned in Scripture-a human sacrifice or only a dangerous ceremony is * The illustration is from a book printed at Madras, indicated. We long inclined to the opinion that an actual and very scarce in England, entitled, The Travels of the immolation by fire to a sanguinary idol was intended : Rabbi D' Beth Hillel, from Jerusalem through Arabia, but on carefully reconsidering the matter, we are more | Koordistan, part of Persia and India, to Madras.

After her said husband died she burnt herself, as he said, having authority over the south-eastern portion, which is along with his dead body, and further added, that who fronted by the united Tigris and Euphrates and by the believes in her and passes the fire never will be burnt, but upper end of the Persian Gulf. But even the Persian that he will be saved from all sickness and disasters, and part of Khusistan is chiefly in the occupation of Arabian all his sins be forgiven. I said to them, they do not pass and Persian tribes, which acknowledge little, if any, subthrough the fire, but only above the charcoal, which does mission to the Persian governors. The Jews applied the not harm so much. He said, no; but that very likely I denomination 'Cuthites,' as a general term, to all the new had come rather too late. I said, no; but that I came settlers. before they commenced burning the wood, and stood there - 'Ava'-The general identity of name, as noticed in until they passed over the charcoal. He said, very likely the preceding note, would seem to strengthen the stateI could not see. I understood his meaning: he spoke ment of Josephus, that the five names merely describe honourably, but his meaning was that I was an unbeliever different tribes of Cuthites, and in this view, the names in these things, therefore I could not see into their truth. may be conceived to be those of the principal towns deAlso he told me that the two images which they caused to nominating the particular districts from which they came. go round the fire, viz., of this woman and of the swan If so, we should be very much inclined to suspect that which she rode upon towards the fire, were to be burnt. Ava is to be sought at Ahwaz, the only probable place of I again said to him, that according to this rule or story similar name in Khusistan. This town is situated upon this festival ought to be called after her name, why then do the river Karun, which discharges its waters into the head you call it after the name of Damarajah ? He answered, of the Persian Gulf; and agrees very well with the posiihat she presented the title to Damarajah, who was many tion which Sanson, without any apparent knowledge of years after her, and he being a very righteous and just Ahwaz, assigns to Ava. It was a famous city, described king, ascended alive to heaven in a chariot of fire, where as one of the largest in the world, in the time of the she presented him with this title. This Hindoo custom is caliphs of Baghdad, and appears to have occupied the site mentioned by other writers. Sonnerat adds the fact that of a more ancient city. Its extensive ruins still attest its the votaries often pass through the fire with their ancient importance. It is noticed in Kinneir's Geograchildren in their arms.'

phical Memoir of the Persian Empire, and, more comAn analogous custom is also found in America. In pletely, in a memoir printed in an appendix to Captain some ancient hieroglyphical paintings,' writes Humboldt Miguan's Travels in "Chaldaa, and also in the second (Researches, i. 183), "we trace the ceremonies practised volume of the Royal Asiatic Society's Transactions. on the birth of a child; the midwife invoking the gods - Hamath.'—This is thought to denote the Syrian who reside in the abodes of the blest, sprinkled water on territory on the Orontes, the capital of which, of the the forehead and breast of the new-born infant, and after same name, has been noticed under Num. xiii. It is suppronouncing different prayers, in which water was con posed that Shalmaneser, having conquered this country, sidered as the symbol of the purification of the soul, the removed some of its inhabitants to Palestine. There is midwife bade the children draw near who had been in nothing but the name to sanction this conclusion; and we vited to give the child a name. In some provinces a fire should rather think that some place in Assyria or Khuwas lighted at the same time, and the infant was seemingly sistan may have been intended. made to pass through the flame, and undergo the double - Sepharvaim.'-Calmet thinks that these are the purification of fire and water. This ceremony reminds us Saspires, mentioned by Herodotus as dwelling between of usages which in Asia appear to be lost in the darkness Armenia and Colchis; and who, according to Major of the remotest ages.

Rennell, would, in modern geography, occupy eastern In our own country it appears to have been usual Armenia. These are probably not different from the among the Druids to light up large fires upon May eve on Sarapanes whom Strabo places in Armenia. We much the tops of the cairus, in honour of the sun. Two such rather incline to the opinion that the name is to be sought fires were also kindled on May day in every village, and in that of Siphara, a city on the Euphrates, above Babylon, between them all the victims, human and animal, destined at that part where that river makes the nearest approach for sacrifice were compelled to pass. We find a marked to the Tigris, and consequently to Assyria Proper. The allusion to part of this practice in the Godo-din of probabilities for this seem to us incomparably the strongest, Aneurin, a Northumbrian Briton who lived in the sixth and chiefly on account of its proximity to Khusistan and century, and which is translated in Davis's Mythology and Assyria. If the Samaritans were assembled from such Rites of the British Druids:- In the festival of May different and remote countries as some expositors suppose, they celebrated the praise of the holy ones in the presence they must have spoken different languages: and as no of the purifying fire, which was made to ascend on high. | notice is ever taken, either in the Scripture or elsewhere, On the Tuesday they wore their dark garments; on the of a diversity of tongues among them, this may be regarded Wednesday they purified their fair attire; on the Thursday as strengthening the probability that the different sections they truly performed their due rites; on the Friday the of the Samaritan colony all proceeded from the same victims were conducted round the circle; on the Saturday | region. their united exertions were displayed without the circular 26. Therefore lie hath sent lions among them.—That dance; on the Sunday the men with red blades were con | they for this reason felt it necessary to worship the God ducted round the circle; on the Monday was seen the of the land,' led some of the Rabbins to characterize the deluge of gore up to the belt.'

Cuthites as proselytes of lions. The whole transaction 24. Cuthah.' ---This seems to be only the Chaldee name strikingly illustrates the prevalent notions of ancient for Cush,' which, in its original application, appears to idolatry. They believed that each land and people had its have referred to the tract of country better known as tutelary god, and, conceiving Jehovah himself to be such Susiana, and now as Khusistan. This country, anciently a god, they had no hesitation in admitting that their famous for its fertility, but now for the most part a desert, punishment came from him, for neglecting his worship in extends inland from the eastern bank of the Tigris in the the country over which he presided. We may here relower part of its course, and from the stream formed by state a remark we made on a former occasion, that no the confluence of that river with the Euphrates. Geo | ancient people denied the God whom the Jews worshipped graphically, it was part of Persia, though bordering on to be a true God; but they disputed that he was the only Assyria Proper; but it certainly formed a part of the God-and alone entitled to the worship of mankind. The Assyrian dominion. Josephus agrees that Cuthah was in Samaritans either were not acquainted with this claim, or Persia ; and although nothing very positive can be stated, did not submit to it; but they had no reluctance to admit there does not seem any greater probability than that the God of Israel to a wretched and unholy partnership which Khusistan offers. This province is now shared | with the gods they had been accustomed to honour. In between the Arabs and Persians, the former possessing the course of time, their worship of the only true God that portion which is washed by the Tigris, and the latter | became more pure and simple: but they always reVOL. II.

3699

mained distinguished from the Jews by some peculiarities, the word ina, nibhaz, or rather nibchaz from na nabach, of practice and belief, to which we shall have future occa

to bark,' they have assigned to it the figure of a dog. sion to advert.

Gesenius rejects this, on the ground that there is no trace of 30. The men of Babylon made Succoth-benothi'This

| dog-worship in ancient Syria. But to this we must demur, name signifies the tents' or 'booths of the daughters,' and,

remembering the ancient account of the image of a large solely on that ground, has been thought to refer to the

dog at the mouth of the river to this day called Nahr elworship celebrated in booths or tents by impure rites, after

Kelb or Dog-river (ancient Lycus), which, it was believed, the manner of the Babylonian maidens as described by

used to bark at the season when the dog-star by its Herodotus, i. 199. The coincidence, if nothing more, is

heliacal appearance gave certain notice that the sun had certainly remarkable, seeing that Babylonians are here attained the greatest elevation and that the Nile was named.

about to overflow. This allusion to the Nile seems to -"Nergal, 57).-The Rabbinical commentators be point to Egypt as the source of this worship. We, howlieve that this idol was in the form of a cock, founding ever, do not believe the Avites to have been a Syrian people, their not very happy conjecture apparently upon the fact, and therefore this is rather an illustrative word or corthat in the Talmud the similar word siin tarnegol,

rection than an explanation directly applicable to Nibhaz.

In the Zabian books the corresponding name indicates, means a cock. The more measured researches of Norberg,

an evil demon who sits upon a throne on the earth while Gesenius, and other inquirers into the astrolatry of the

his feet rest upon the bottom of Tartarus : but it is doubtful Assyrians and Chaldeans, lead to the conclusion that

whether he might be identified with the Nibhaz of the Nergal was the Zabian name of the planet Mars. This

Avites. name of the planet, both among the Zabians and Arabians, means ill-luck, misfortune : and it was by no means pecu

Tartak.:-Of this name pan scholars have been liar to the mythology of the West to make it the symbol able to make nothing further than that in Pehlevi Tar. of bloodshed and war. Among the people first named, thakh may meau deep darkness,' or 'hero of darkness.' the planet Mars was typified under the figure of a man Gesenius in his Der Prophet Jesaia thinks that under this holding in one hand a drawn sword, and in the other a name some malign planet (Saturn or Mars) was wor

man head just cut off: and his garments were also red. shipped, but our information respecting the Assyrian which, as well as the other ideas attached to this idol, superstitions is too meagre to enable us to identify this idol were no doubt founded on the reddish hue which the body with certainty. of the planet presents to the eye. Among the southern - 'Adrammelech.'—We know nothing more of this Arabs his temple was painted red, and they offered to him idol than this text states. It is manifest that the last garments stained with blood, and also a warrior (probably member of the name melech (king) is Semitic, whence it a prisoner) who was cast into a pool. Some would rather is argued that the first member is Semitic also, in which derive the name from the Sanscrit Nrigal, Man-devourer," case the whole means the magnificence of the king. But spoken of a fierce warrior, and corresponding to Mero some contend that, although the melech is Semitic, the dach. [APPENDIX, No. 48.]

first member of the name is Assyrian, and that the word - Ashima.'—The Jerusalem Talmud says that this means 'king of the fire'. Selden and others have identified idol was worshipped under the similitude of a lamb, but him with Moloch, on the ground that the general significathe higher authority of the Babylon Talmud, indicating tion of the name and the offering of children by fire is or following the general current of Rabbinical opinion, the same in both. It may be so without interference with makes it to have been an idol represented in the form of the conclusion founded on the apparently astrological chaa goat without hair. This interpretation, which seems to racter of the Assyrian idolatry that this idol represented be regarded as the most probable, is founded upon the one of the heavenly bodies; and the general conclusion fact, that the Samaritan version uses a similar word to this seems to be that it was either the planet Saturn or the sun. as equivalent to the species of goat named in the Hebrew The form which the Talmud assigns to Adrammelech is of Deut. xiv. 5, under the name of akko (see the note that of a mule; but Kimchi affirms that he was worshipped there); and from the further consideration that the word under that of a peacock. as it stands may be referred to a root which sometimes - Anammelech.'—Selden and some others think this occurs in the sense to be laid waste or bare, whence bare only another name for Adrammelech, but the mass of or bald, which joined to the other make a bald or bare learned opinion distinguishes them from each other. The goat. This is the way the interpretation has been ob signification of the name is stil! more uncertain than that tained, and it is not more fanciful than many others of of Adrammelech, nor have we any clearer apprehension the same description.

respecting the object of worship and the form under which 31. Nibhazı–The Jewish interpreters, knowing no- it was exhibited. The Talmud alleges that the idol bore thing of this idol, have, as usual, grounded their conclu- the figure of a hare, but Kimchi says that it had the shape sions upon the possible signification of the name. Deriving I of a pheasant or quail.

CHAPTER XVIII.

| he began to reign ; and he reigned twenty and 1 Hezekiah's good reign. 4 He destroyeth idolatry,

nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name and prospereth. 9 Samaria is carried captive for

also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. their sins. 13 Sennacherib invading Judah is pa 3 And he did that which was right in the cified by a tribute. 17 Rab-shakeh, sent by Sen.

sight of the LORD, according to all that David nacherib again, revileth Hezekiah, and by blas

his father did. phemous persuasions soliciteth the people to revolt.

4. He removed the high places, and Now it came to pass in the third year of brake the images, and cut down the groves, Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that 'Heze and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that kiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to Moses had made: for unto those days the reign.

children of Israel did burn incense to it: and 2 Twenty and five years old was he when he called it Nehushtan. 1 2 Chron. 28. 27, and 29. 1. He is called Ezekias, Matth. 1. 9.

? Heb, statues. Num. 21. 9.

5 He trusted in the LORD God of Israel ; Jerusalem. And they went up and came to so that after him was none like him among Jerusalem. And when they were come up, all the kings of Judah, nor any that were they came and stood by the conduit of the before him.

upper pool, which is in the highway of the 6 For he clave to the LORD, and departed fuller's field. not ‘from following him, but kept his com 18 q And when they had called to the king, mandments, which the LORD commanded there came out to them Eliakim the son of Moses.

Hilkiah, which was over the houshold, and 7 And the LORD was with him; and he Shebna the ''scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph prospered whithersoever he went forth : and the recorder. he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and 19 And Rab-shakeh said unto them, Speak served him not.

ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, 8 He smote the Philistines, even unto 'Gaza, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this and the borders thereof, from the tower of the wherein thou trustest? watchmen to the fenced city.

20 Thou 'sayest, (but they are but 'vain 9 And it came to pass in the fourth year words,) 's I have counsel and strength for the of king Hezekiah, which was the seventh year war. Now on whom dost thou trust, that thou of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that rebellest against me ? Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against 21 Now, behold, thou trustest upon the Samaria, and besieged it.

staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt, on 10 And at the end of three years they took / which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, it: even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is | and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt "the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, unto all that trust on him. Samaria was taken.

22 But if ye say unto me, We trust in the 11 And the king of Assyria did carry away LORD our God: is not that he, whose high Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the away, and hath said to Judah and Jerusalem, cities of the Medes :

Ye shall worship before this altar in Jeru12 Because they obeyed not the voice of salem ? the LORD their God, but transgressed his 23 Now therefore, I pray thee, give covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the "I pledges to my lord the king of Assyria, and LORD commanded, and would not hear them, I will deliver thee two thousand horses, if nor do them.

thou be able on thy part to set riders upon 13 9 Now 'in the fourteenth year of king them. Hezekiah did 'Sennacherib king of Assyria 24 How then wilt thou turn away the face come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, of one captain of the least of my master's serand took them.

vants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots 14 And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the and for horsemen ? king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have 25 Am I now come up without the LORD offended; return from me: that which thou against this place to destroy it? The LORD puttest on me will I bear. And the king of said to me, Go up against this land, and deAssyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of stroy it. Judah three hundred talents of silver and i 26 Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, thirty talents of gold.

and Shebna, and Joah, unto Rab-shakeh, 15 And Hezekiah gave him all the silver Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the that was found in the house of the LORD, and Syrian language ; for we understand it : and in the treasures of the king's house.

talk not with us in the Jews' language in the 16 At that time did Hezekiah cut off the ears of the people that are on the wall. gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD, 27 But Rab-shakeh said unto them, Hath and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, Judah had overlaid, and gave ''it to the king to speak these words ? hath he not sent me of Assyria.

to the men which sit on the wall, that they 17 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan may eat their own dung, and drink 18 their and Rabsaris and Rab-shakeh from Lachishown piss with you? to king Hezekiah with a "great host against 28 1 Then Rab-shakeh stood and cried with * Heb. from after him. 5 Heb. Azzah. Chap. 17. 3. 7 Chap. 17. 6. 2 Chron. 32. 1. Isa. 36, 1. Ecclus. 48. 18. 9 Heb. Sanherib. 10 Heb. them. 11 Heb. heavy. 12 Or, secretary. 13 Or, talkest. 14 Heb. word of the lips. 15 Or, but counsel and strength are for the war. 16 Heb. trustest theo. i7 Or, hostages. 18 Heb. the water of their feet?

a loud voice in the Jews' language, and spake, when he "persuadeth you, saying, The Lord saying, Hear the word of the great king, the will deliver us. king of Assyria :

33 Hath any of the gods of the nations de29 Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiahlivered at all liis land out of the hand of the deceive you: for he shall not be able to de- | king of Assyria ? liver you out of his hand :

34 Where are the gods of Hamath, and of 30 Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in Arpad ? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely de- | Hena, and Ivah? have they delivered Samaria liver us, and this city shall not be delivered out of mine hand ? into the hand of the king of Assyria.

35 Who are they among all the gods of 31 Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus the countries, that have delivered their country saith the king of Assyria, 18 2° Make an agree out of mine hand, that the LORD should dement with me by a present, and come out to liver Jerusalem out of mine hand ? me, and then eat ye every man of his own | 36 But the people held their peace, and vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink answered him not a word : for the king's ye every one the waters of his 'cistern: commandment was, saying, Answer him not.

32 Until I come and take you away to a 37 Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, land like your own land, a land of corn and which was over the houshold, and Shebna the wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the reoil olive and of honey, that ye may live, and corder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, and told him the words of Rab-shakeh.

10. Or, Seek my farour. 20 Heb. Make with me a blessing. 21 Or, pit. 22 Or, deceiveth.

CHAP. xviii.-The greater part of this history is also found, with some variation and with very large additions, in 2 Chron. xxix., xxxii., and Isaiah xxxvi. In this and other instances, the parallel in Isaiah agrees more exactly with the history as given in Kings than as in Chronicles. In fact, the historical chapters in Isaiah, and we may add in Jeremiah, are almost identical, in every respect, with the corresponding passages in 2 Kings; whereas, in 2 Chronicles, the same facts are related in a different form of words and with varied details, with also further particulars not contained either in 2 Kings or in the Prophets. These also contain some passages which are not to be found in Chronicles. Having thus apprised the reader that the parallelism between this book and Isaiah commences with this chapter, while that with 2 Chron. still continues, we shall, in what remains of 2 Kings, give our more particular, but not exclusive, attention to the facts which are nowhere else repeated. [On 13, 14, see APPENDIX, No. 49.]

Verse 4. Brake in pieces the brazen serpent.'—This was a bold and healthy measure. Some kings, however bent on the extirpation of idolatry, would have hesitated at the destruction of that which was certainly in itself an interesting memorial of the remarkable transaction with

which it had been associated. But when it had become
a temptation and a snare to a loose-minded people, the
king saw that the well-being of the nation required its
destruction. We may wonder how it happened that the
Hebrews could fall into such absurdity as the worship of
a brazen serpent. But our surprise will be diminished
on reflecting that serpent-worship, under some form or
other, was one of the most diffused idolatries of the an-
cient world. We may refer to the general considerations
on animal-worship which have beev stated in the note
(Deut. iv.) on the gods of Egypt; and the reference is
particularly appropriate, as the ancient nations of eastern
Europe and western Asia confessedly derived the practice
of serpent-worship, and the ideas connected with it, from
that country. In fact, the serpent makes a very conspicuous
appearance in the animal-worship of Egypt, where not
only was its figure displayed in various idolatrous combi-
nations, but the living animal itself was honoured, as it
is at this day, in the temples of India. In Egypt, the
cerastes, or horned snake, was sacred to Ammon, and
was interred after death in his temple. This serpent was
harmless. Another, more commonly represented in
Egyptian sculptures, and that which appears as a crowning
figure in the images of kings and gods, was the venomous
naia haj, which was regarded as an emblem of Cueph,
the good deity; and it is remarkable, tbat, under all the
various inodifications of serpent-worship, the serpent was
made the deified symbol of something good and beneficent.
It symbolized the good genius' also among the Greeks
and Romans, and their worship of the healing power
(Esculapius), under the same figure, was but a part of
the same general idea. It would be curious, but per-
haps not in this place profitable, to inquire how arose
this regard to an animal which the Scripture certainly
does not mention worthily, but seems rather to associate
with the Wicked One, and with the ruin which bis machi-
nations occasioned. Was it that the good of idolatry was
the evil of Scripture? It may be, however, that the ser-
pent was thus chosen as the most fitting emblem of that
system which endowed the universe and all its parts-the
greatest and the least—with an intelligent and living soul;
and its emblematic fitness as a type of nature, thus ima-
gined, may perhaps be found in the peculiarities of its
organization. Its remarkable longevity-its peculiar

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