Page images
PDF
EPUB

identity of the dial of Ahaz, than to furnish such a brief which fell upon diverse lines engraved on the concavity. statement concerning ancient dials in general, as may They add, that these lines were twenty-eight. This will furnish rather an illustrative than an explanatory view of strike the reader as an adaptation of the sort of invention the subject.

which Apion ascribed to Moses - falsely, indeed, but in The present mention of a dial is the first on record, and such a manner as demonstrated that such a contrivance enables us to find a very early point in the history of the did actually exist. This will appear the more plainly, invention, without affording any clue to its origin. This and the use of such a dial will be illustrated by the fact, dial seems, however, from the manner in which it is men. that the pillar or obelisk used as a gnomon was ultimately, tioned, to have been considered a curious and rare thing, as an improvement, surmounted by a ball supported on a since it was distinguished by the name of the king by very delicate stem, and so elevated that its shadow was whom it had been erected. It would seem, from the fact, thrown upon the neighbouring soil with great precision, that this king Ahaz sent from Damascus the pattern of and quite disengaged from that of the pillar by which it an altar which he saw there, with directions that one like was supported. The ball, however, was by no means an it should be made at Jerusalem, that he was what is called essential part of the concave hemispherical dials founded a man of taste, a collector of curiosities, and so on. Pro- on this idea, a simple stylus being more usually employed bably the dial was one of his curiosities, and perhaps to cast the required shadow. The first dials, properly so originated like the altar-being either imported from called (which appear to have been of this description), abroad, or made after the pattern of one that he had seen were, by the general confession of antiquity, the invention at Damascus or elsewhere. The Jews were not re- of the Babylonians, from whom the western nations demarkable for their inventions; and it is by no means rived them, as the Greeks allowed that they did. Anaxinecessary to suppose that the use of sun-dials originated mander, who introduced the first dial into Greece, had among them. Doubtless, however, they had those com- travelled in Chaldea in the time of the Captivity. His mon and popular methods of measuring time by the dial marked the equinoxes, the solstices, and by their length, inclination, and return of the shadows of objects, means the seasons. It belonged to the class of which we which in all times and countries have served for that are speaking, called by the Greeks oráon, a boat, and purpose, and which continue in use among the peasantry Mulopaipov, a hemisphere. The Egyptians also had such of the most cultivated nations.

dials. Their solar equinoctial dial was of this class, as We very much incline to the opinion, which we find was also that with which Eratosthenes metred or verified advocated' by several continental writers, that the first the measure of the earth. Although these dials were obcontrivances for a more precise measurement of time were viously, in their origin, equinoctial dials, the application pillars, set up in the midst of an open area, on the pave- of their principle to horary indications is obvious, and was ment of which were marked different lines, which fur- actually effected. We incline to suspect that the principle nished the necessary indications as the shadow of the of the dial was known previously to the Egyptians, but column fell successively upon them. They were thus that its detailed application was invented by the Babyartificial gnomons; and there is some tolerable, though lonians. not very positive, evidence for the conclusion, that the The difficulty in the present text really is to understand famous obelisks of the Egyptians were intended for the what is meant by the degrees or steps of Ahaz. They same purpose. That pillars were used as gnomons in may mean lines or figures on a dial-plate, or on a paveGreece and Italy we know; and nothing seems more ment, or the steps to the palace of Ahaz, or some steps or likely than that, when Augustus applied to this purpose staircase he had erected elsewhere. The Septuagint in the the two grand obelisks which he caused to be removed parallel place of Isaiah reads the steps or stairs of the from Egypt to Rome, he merely continued the use to house of thy father.' Josephus also says, steps or degrees which they had previously been devoted. Josephus in his house' (Antiq. x. 1, 91). The Chaldee renders the quotes a curious passage from Apion, which, if we could passage here.hour stone,' and gives the same meaning to clearly understand it, might throw some light on the sub- * the stairs' in 2 Kings ix. 13, and renders Isaiah xxxviii. ject. We give the explanation (for such it is, rather than 8, by the shadow of the stone of hours. Symmachus a translation) after Whiston, which we think assigns the most certainly understood a sun-dial. “I will cause to reonly intelligible sense which the passage will bear. Apion turn the shadow of the degrees which (shadow) is gone charges Moses, that he set up pillars in the room of down on the dial of Ahaz: and so Jerome renders it, gnomons (obelisks), under which he made a cavity like horologium.' On the whole, the dial of Ahaz seems to that of a boat, and the shadow from the top of the pillar have been a distinct contrivance, rather than any part of fell into the cavity, and went round therein with the a house. It would also seem probable, from the circumcourse of the sun. Apion mentions this to shew that stances, that it was of such a size, and so placed, that Moses imitated (or, as in this instance, improved upon) Hezekiah, now convalescent, Isaiah xxxviii., but not per: the custom of the Egyptians; which Josephus strongly fectly recovered, could witness the miracle from his denies, as well as his claim to this invention or imitation. chamber or pavilion : ‘Shall 5:30, (hatz-tzel) the or this What is said about Moses is of course an utter fiction; but the passage is of value, as implying that the Egyptians

shadow,' etc. May it not have been situated in the middle really did use their obelisks for the purpose indicated. We

court,' mentioned 2 Kings xx. 4 ? The annexed cut presents have the rather dwelt on this, not only on account of the

a sort of dial in Hindostan near Delhi, whose construction antiquity of the reference, but because it exhibits one of the

would well enough suit the circumstances recorded of the alternatives which have been used to explain the dial of

dial of Ahaz. It seems to have answered the double purpose Ahaz. It is right to add that the Hebrew has no word to

of an observatory and a dial—a rectangled hexangle, whose express a dial; and the word in the text has not that force,

hypothenuse is a staircase, apparently parallel to the axis

of the earth, and bisects a zone or coping of a wall, which its meaning being 'steps or degrees' (nibyn ma’aloth)—the

wall connects the two terminating towers right and left. degrees or steps of Ahaz,' which has led a very large class The coping itself is of a circular form, and accurately graof commentators, ancient and modern, to conclude that duated to mark, by the shadow of the gnomon above, the this famous dial' was nothing else than a stair framed sun's progress before and after noon; for when the sun is with so much art and proportion, that the shadow in the zenith, he slıines directly on the staircase, and the upon the steps expressed the hours and the course of the

shadow falls beyond the coping. 4 flat surface on the top

of the staircase,' and a gnomon, fitted the building for the The application of the principle of the gnomon to an purpose of an observatory. Accordirg to the known laws artificial dial would naturally be suggested by many cir- of refraction, a cloud or body of air of different density cumstances. One of the explanations which the Rabbins from the common atmosphere, interposed between the give of the dial of Ahaz is, that it was a concave hemi- gnomon and the coping of the dial-plate below, would, if sphere, in the middle of which was a globe, the shadow of the cloud were denser than the atmosphere, cause the

sun.

[graphic][ocr errors]

sun.

OBSERVATORY AT DELHI. shadow to recede from the perpendicular height of the would have been occasioned by an actual recession of the staircase, and of course to reascend the steps on the coping, Adopting the present state of the text, it is obserby which it had before noon gone down; and if the cloud vable that what is called “the sun' in one part of the verse is were rarer, a contrary effect would take place. (See called the shadow in the other. It is certainly as philoBishop Stock’s Translation of Isaiah, Bath, 1803, p. 109.) sophical to speak of the sun returning, as it is of his setting Such a building might even be called a house. It agrees and rising. Thus the miracle, from all the accounts of it, also with Adam Clarke's supposition, that the stairs might consist only of the retrogression of the shadow ten were really “a dial.'. Bishop, Stock's speculation that the degrees, by a simple act of Almighty power, without any retrogression of the shadow might be effected by refraction, medium, or, at most, by that of refracting those rays only is supported by a natural phenomenon of the kind on re- which fell upon the dial. It is not said that any time was cord. On the 27th of March, 1703, St. Romuald, prior of lost to the inhabitants of the world at large; it was not the cloister of Metz, made the observation that, owing to even observed by the astronomers of Babylon, for the such a refraction of the solar rays in the higher regions of deputation came to inquire concerning the wonder that the atmosphere, in connection with the appearance of a was done in the land.' It was temporary, local, and concloud, the shadow on his dial deviated an hour and a half. fined to the observation of Hezekiah and his court, being The phenomenon on the dial of Ahaz, however, was doubt- designed chiefly for the satisfaction of that monarch. See less of a miraculous nature, even should such a medium of on this subject Calmet's Dissertation, in his Commentaire ; the miracle be admitted : nothing less than a divine com- Goguet's Origine des Lois, ii. 231-234; Beckmann's Inmunication could have enabled Isaiah to predict its oc- ventions; the articles .Gnomon' and 'Gnomonique' in currence at that time and place; besides, he gave the king Encyclopédie Methodique ; and Denham's article · Dial' his own choice whether the shadow should advance or in Kitto's Cyclopædia, retire ten degrees. There seems, however, to be no 12. Berodach-baladan....king of Babylon.'— This is necessity for seeking any medium for this miracle, and the first king of Babylon mentioned in Scripture, his precertainly no necessity for supposing any actual interference decessors having been, apparently, præfects or viceroys to with the revolution of the earth, or the position of the sun. the Assyrian kings. This is he who asserted his indeIn the present text, it is simply said that the Lord, at the pendence, as mentioned in the last note on the preceding prayer of Isaiah, brought the shadow ten degrees back- chapter. After his death the affairs of his kingdom ward. The words in Isaiah xxxviii. 6, are wanting in would appear to have fallen into much disorder, if we may three of Dr. Kennicott's MSS., and originally in two of judge from the recurrence of five reigns, and two interDe Rossi's; and the words “the shadow of the degrees regnums of ten years each, in the twenty-nine years which which is gone down in the sun-dial of Ahaz' are more passed before Esarhaddon succeeded in again bringing it correctly rendered on the margin degreesby or with the under the Assyrian yoke. Berodach had the same politisun,' i. e. by means of the progress of the sun. Even if cal interest as Hezekiah, in opposition to Assyria; and it the mention of the sun be retained, as in Ecclus. xlviii. 23, is probable that the ostensible embassy of congratulation it is only fair to understand the words in their popular had the real object of bringing the king of Judah into an sense, the solar rays, or such a recession of the shadow as alliance against the common enemy. [APPENDIX, No. 64.) CHAPTER XXI.

Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon 1 Manasseh's reign. 3 His great idolatry.

Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth

10 His wickedness causeth prophecies against Judah. 17

of it, both "his ears shall tingle. Amon succeedeth him. 19 Amon's wicked reign. 13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the 23 He being slain by his servants, and those mur- line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house derers slain by the people, Josiah is made king.

of Ahab : and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man Manassen 'was twelve years old when he be- wipeth a dish, Rwiping it, and turning it upside gan to reign, and reigned fifty and five years down. in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was 14 And I will forsake the remnant of mine Hephzi-bah.

inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of 2 And he did that which was evil in the their enemies; and they shall become a prey sight of the Lord, after the abominations of and a spoil to all their enemies ; the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before 15 Because they have done that which was the children of Israel.

evil in my sight, and have provoked me to 3 For he built up again the high places anger, since the day their fathers came forth ' which Hezekiah his father had destroyed ; and out of Egypt, even unto this day. he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, 16 Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood as did Ahab king of Israel ; and worshipped very much, till he had filled Jerusalem 'from all the host of heaven, and served them. one end to another ; beside his sin wherewith

4 And 'he built altars in the house of the he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was Lord, of which the LORD said, 'In Jerusalem evil in the sight of the Lord. will I put my name.

17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, 5 And he built altars for all the host of and all that he did, and his sin that he sinned, heaven in the two courts of the house of the are they not written in the book of the chroLORD.

nicles of the kings of Judah ? 6 And he made his son pass through the 18 And 'Manasseh slept with his fathers, fire, and observed times, and used enchant- and was buried in the garden of his own house, ments, and dealt with familiar spirits and in the garden of Uzza: and Amon his son wizards : he wrought much wickedness in the reigned in his stead. sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger. 19 9 Amon was twenty and two years old

7 And he set a graven image of the grove when he began to reign, and he reigned two that he had made in the house, of which the

years in Jerusalem.

And his mother's name LORD said to David, and to Solomon his son, was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of * In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have Jotbah. chosen out of all tribes of Israel, will I put my 20 And he did that which was evil in the name for ever :

sight of the LORD, as his father Manasseh did. 8 Neither will I make the feet of Israel 21 And he walked in all the way that his move any more out of the land which I

gave father walked in, and served the idols that his their fathers; only if they will observe to do father served, and worshipped them : according to all that I have commanded them, 22 And he forsook the LORD God of his and according to all the law that my servant | fathers, and walked not in the way of the Moses commanded them.

LORD. 9 But they hearkened not: and Manasseh 23 9 And the servants of Amon conspired seduced them to do more evil than did the against him, and slew the king in his own house. nations whom the LORD destroyed before the 24 And the people of the land slew all them children of Israel.

that had conspired against king Amon; and 10 | And the LORD spake by his servants the people of the land made Josiah his son the prophets, saying,

king in his stead. 11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah hath 25 | Now the rest of the acts of Amnon which done these abominations, and hath done wick- he did, are they not written in the book of the edly above all that the Amorites did, which chronicles of the kings of Judah ? were before him, and hath made Judah also to 26 And he was buried in his sepulchre in sin with his idols :

the garden of Uzza : and "Josiah his son 12 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of reigned in his stead.

1 2 Chron. 33. 1. Jer. 15. 4.

* Chap 18, 4, 1 Samn, 3. 11.

10 9 Chron. 33. 90,

8 Jer. 32. 34. 4 2 Sam. 7. 13. 31 Kings 8. 29, and 9. 3. Chap. 23. 27. 8 Heb, he wipeth and turneth it upon the face thereof. 9 Heb. from mouth to mouth.

n Matth. 1. 10, called Josias.

CHAP. xxi.- The parallel chapter is 2 Chron. xxxiv.; greater than in some of those which have preceded. Sce and although there is considerable difference, the resem. the notes on the chapter referred to. blance between the two parallel chapters is considerably Verse 7. ' He set a graven image of the grove.'-See the

second note on Judges vi. 25. [APPENDIX, No. 55.]

CHAPTER XXII.

heard the words of the book of the law, that he

rent his clothes. 1 Josial's good reign. 3 He taketh care for the repair 12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the

of the temple. 8 Hilkiah having found the book of priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and the law, Josiah sendeth to Huldah to enquire of the Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the Lord. 15 Huldah prophesieth the destruction of scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king's, Jerusalem, but respite thereof in Josian's time.

saying, Josiah 'was eight years old when he began to 13 Go ye, enquire of the Lord for me, and reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in for the people, and for all Judah, concerning Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Je- the words of this book that is found : for great didah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against

2 And he did that which was right in the us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way the words of this book, to do according unto all of David his father, and turned not aside to that which is written concerning us. the right hand or to the left.

14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Alikam, and 3 And it came to pass in the eighteenth Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan - Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the scribe, to the house of the Lord, saying, 'wardrobe ; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem 'in the

4 Go up to IIilkiah the high priest, that he college ;) and they communed with her. may sum the silver which is brought into the 15 And she said unto them, Thus saith house of the Lord, which the keepers of the the LORD God of Israel, Tell the man that 'door have gathered of the people:

sent you to me, 5 And let them deliver it into the hand of 16 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will the doers of the work, that have the oversight bring evil upon this place, and upon the inof the house of the Lord: and let them give habitants thereof, even all the words of the it to the doers of the work which is in the house book which the king of Judah hath read: of the Lord, to repair the breaches of the 17 Because they have forsaken me, and have house,

burned incense unto other gods, that they 6 Unto carpenters, and builders, and ma- might provoke me to anger with all the works sons, and to buy timber and hewn stone to re- of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be pair the house.

kindled against this place, and shall not be 7 Howbeit there was no reckoning made quenched. with them of the money that was delivered 18 But to the king of Judah which sent into their hand, because they dealt faithfully. you to enquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say

8 9 And Hilkiah the high priest said unto to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of As touching the words which thou hast heard ; the law in the house of the LORD. And Hil- 19 Because thine heart was tender, and thou kiah

gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when 9 And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, thou heardest what I spake against this place, and brought the king word again, and said, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they Thy servants have gathered the money that should become a desolation and a curse, and was found in the house, and have delivered it hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I into the hand of them that do the work, that also have heard thee, saith the LORD. have the oversight of the house of the LORD. 20 Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto

10 And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not book. And Shaphan read it before the king. see all the evil which I will bring upon this

11 And it came to pass, when the king bad place. And they brought the king word again.

1 2 Chron. 34. 1.

2 Heb. thresho'd.

3 Heb. melted.

1 Heb. garments.

5 Or, in the second part.

CHAPS. xxii. and xxiii.These two chapters, em- it occupies the first nineteen verses of chap. xxxv.; but, bracing the account of Josiah's reign, correspond to 2 on the other hand, the Chronicles report very summarily Chron. xxxiv. and xxxv. The two narratives are nearly in five verses (xxxiv. 3—7) the reformations which are of the same extent, and include generally the same facts described in much detail in sixteen verses (5—20) of chap. related with considerable variation of language, and some xxiii. of the present book. To this portion we shall thereof circumstances. The difference is chiefly that the fore confine our present attention, referring to Chronicles account of the great passover kept by Josiah occupies only for such observations as the other parts of the narrative three verses in Kings (xxiii. 21-23), whilst in Chronicles may require.

CHAPTER XXIII.

house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto 1 Josiah causeth the book to be read in a solemn as.

the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook sembly. 3 He reneweth the covenant of the Lord.

Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and 4 He destroyeth idolatry. 15 He burneth dead men's cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the bones upon the altar of Beth-el, as was forepro- children of the people. phesied. 21 He keepeth a most solemn passover. 24 7 And he brake down the houses of the soHe putteth away witches and all abomination. 26 God's final wrath against Judah. 29 Josiah, pro

domites, that were by the house of the LORD, voking Pharaoh-nechoh, is slain at Megiddo. 31 where the women wove 'hangings for the Jehoahaz, succeeding him, is imprisoned by Pharaoh

grove. nechoh, who made Jehoiakim king. 36 Jehoiakim's wicked reign.

8 And he brought all the priests out of the

cities of Judah, and defiled the high places AND 'the king sent, and they gathered unto where the priests had burned incense, from him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. Geba to Beer-sheba, and brake down the high

2 And the king went up into the house of places of the gates that were in the entering in the LORD, and all the men of Judah and all of the gate of Joshua the

of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and which were on a man's left hand at the gate of the priests, and the prophets, and all the the city. people, "both small and great: and he read 9 Nevertheless the priests of the high places in their ears all the words of the book of the

came not up to the altar of the LORD in Jerucovenant which was found in the house of the salem, but they did eat of the unleavened bread LORD.

among their brethren. 39 And the king stood by a pillar, and 10 And he defiled Topheth, which is in the made a covenant before the LORD, to walk valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man after the LORD, and to keep his command- might make his son or his daughter to pass ments and his testimonies and his statutes through the fire to Molech. with all their heart and all their soul, to per- 11 And he took away the horses that the form the words of this covenant that were kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the written in this book. And all the people entering in of the house of the Lord, by the stood to the covenant.

chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, 4 4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the which was in the suburbs, and burned the high priest, and the priests of the second chariots of the sun with fire. order, and the keepers of the door, to bring 12 And the altars that were on the top of forth out of the temple of the Lord all the the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings vessels that were made for Baal, and for the of Judah had made, and the altars which grove, and for all the host of heaven : and he 'Manasseh had made in the two courts of the burned them without Jerusalem in the fields house of the Lord, did the king beat down, of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto and ''brake them down from thence, and cast Beth-el.

the dust of them into the brook Kidron. 5 And he put down the 'idolatrous priests, 13 And the high places that were before whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, the mount of corruption, which 'Solomon and in the places round about Jerusalem ; them the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Cheand to the moon, and to the planets, and to all f mosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for the host of heaven.

Milcom the abomination of the children of 6 And he brought out the @grove from the Ammon, did the king defile.

? Heb. from small even unto great, s Or, twelve signs, or, constellations. – Chap 21. 7.

8 Or, eunuch, or, oficer. 9 Chap. 21. 5, 10 Or, ran from thence. 11 That is, the mount of Olives.

14 i Kings 11. 7.

1 2 Chron, 34, 30.

3 Heb. caused to cease. 7 Heb. houses.

4 Heb. chemarin.

« PreviousContinue »