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instances, the eyes were actually extirpated. In the pre- high priest in case of sickness or of any temporary dissent text the words of the translation - his eyes were put qualification, which the laws of ceremonial purity rendered, out.' would have that force; but the original only says that probably, of no unfrequent occurrence, notwithstanding all 'they made his eyes blind,' which leaves the matter open. the care which the high priest was bound to take to avoid In Samson's case it is however clearly said that his eyes occasions of legal contamination. were bored out, where the expression is the same as that 27. 'Evil-merodach.' - This prince succeeded Nebuused Prov. xxx. 17: · The ravens of the valley shall pick chadnezzar in the year 561 B.C., and reigned three years. it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.' Nothing can be We have not mentioned the events of his father's reign so clearer to shew that the eyes were in such cases actually particularly as those of some inferior sovereigns, wishing torn out. In Persia it was formerly the custom to extin to reserve the details to be stated in connection with the guish the sight without destroying the eye or injuring their prophecies which refer to them. The kindness of the appearance, by passing before them a red hot copper plate. new king to the captive monarch of Judah is thus acBut it having been accidentally discovered in the time of counted for by a Jewish tradition :- It is said that this Abbas II., that those who had been thus blinded had still prince, during that distraction of Nebuchadnezzar which some glimmering perceptions of light, and that the opera the book of Daniel records, behaved so ill in provoking a tion was sometimes performed so favourably that some war with the Medes, that, on his recovery, the king cast sight still remained, it was ordered by the king that the him into prison, where he contracted an intimacy with pinces who had been previously blinded by the old Jehoiachin, whom he failed not to release on his accession method should have their eyes actually scooped out with to the throne. This account, so far as refers to the imthe point of a dagger, and in this manner the operation | prudent provocation of the Medes by the king of Babylon's has been ever since performed. A great number of striking son, is sanctioned by Xenophon; but he places the event anecdotes from Persian history and from travels in Persial at an earlier period of Nebuchadnezzar's reign than the might be produced in illustration of the practice of extir- present account supposes. Upon the whole, there is nopating the eyes, whether as an incapacitating infliction or thing very improbable in the story. After his succession as a state punishment. Some such fell under our own Evil-merodach resumed his designs on the Medes, whose notice in that country; where the blind persons usually growing power he dreaded, and formed a powerful conmet with fifteen or twenty years ago, were much more federacy against them. His army was however routed, rarely the poor, as in other countries, than persons of and himself slain by Cyrus, who acted (by appointment rank and station, and where the blindness was not, as is of his uncle and father-in-law Cyaxares--the Darius of usually the case, merely the loss of sight in the still seem- | Scripture) as the general of the combined forces of the ingly perfect organ, but the loss of the eye itself, mani- | Medes and Persians. He was succeeded by the Belshazzar fested by the eyelids being closed up and shrunk in over of Scripture, in whose reign Babylon was taken by the the awful cavities in which even sightless orbs rolled no same parties who had defeated and slain his father. [In a more.
note on Daniel v. 1, in Appendix, the true position of -- · Put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and carried him to Belshazzar, as made known by the inscriptions found on Babylon.'--Let it not escape notice that these two acts, the Chaldean bricks, will be shewn. Meantime we simply state, blinding of Zedekiah, and the subsequent sending him to that he was the son of Nabonidus, the last king of Bahylon.] Babylon, reconcile and vindicate the two prophecies of 30. • A continual allowance given unto him of the king' Jeremiah and of Ezekiel, which were deemed incompa- | Instances of something like this are to this day not unknown tible till the event shewed their agreement. The first is : | in the East. Morier, speaking of an entertainment given
I will bring him to Babylon, to the land of the Chaldeans; by the chief minister of state in Persia, states that among yet shall he not see it though he shall die there'(Ezek. the company was · an old man, a lineal descendant of the xii. 13). The other: • He shall surely be delivered into the Leffi family,' whom they called Nawab, and who took hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him his seat next to the Ameen ad-Dowlah. Although needy mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes' (Jer. and without power he is always treated with the greatest xxxii. 4). Zedekiah, as we here see, was carried to respect (2 Sam. ix, 1-7). He receives a daily sursat or Riblah, and there saw the king of Babylon, and spoke to allowance from the king, which makes his case resemble him, and saw his children executed ; but afterwards had that of Jehoiachin, for his allowance was a continual his cyes put out, and was taken to Babylon in a state allowance given him of the king, a daily rate, all the which rendered him incapable of seeing that city, though days of his life (2 Kings xxv. 30). Giving to the Nawab he spent the residue of his days there.
a high rank in society is illustrative of the precedence 18. The second priest::_ This was the deputy high given to Jehoiachin, by setting his throne above the throng priest, by the Jews called the Sagan, who officiated for the of the kings that were with him in Babylon.
THE FIRST BOOK
The name of CHRONICLES, which is given to the two books following those of Kings, well enough represents the Hebrew title Dino'927 DIBRË HAYYAMIM, which signifies words of days, or rather perhaps things or facts of days, a term which literally corresponds to diaries or journals, as when we speak of the Journals of parliament; but in more free interpretation and general sense will answer better perhaps to · annals,' although that word expresses records rather of years than of days. But there is nothing to complain of in the word • Chronicles,' which is as significant as Annals, with the advantage of a somewhat more general sense. This title of Chronicles' was conferred upon the books by Jerome, whose words are, ‘Septimus dabre ajamin, id est verba dierum, quod significantius Chronicon totius divinæ historia possumus appellare, qui liber apud nos Paralipomenon primus et secundus inscribitur' (Prolog. Galeat.). This current title of PARALIPOMENON to which Jerome here refers is derived from the Septuagint, in wbich Version the books bear the name of Japadeltópeva, which signifies things omitted,' a title which must have been suggested by the view that, although these books repeat a great number of facts which are recorded in the books of Samuel and of Kings, they nevertheless embody many circumstances which are not elsewhere found in Scripture.
The subject of Chronicles' is essentially the same as that of the second book of Samuel and the two books of Kings. 1. The genealogy, occupying 1 Chron. i.-ix., must have been of great interest to the Hebrews after the Captivity ; but with us it is much neglected, although it contains several remarkable ancient facts not to be found in the regular historical books. 2. The portion from chap. x. of the first book to ix. 34 of the second, contains many details respecting the government of David and Solomon which for the most part furnish valuable supplementary matter to the accounts in · Samuel' and · Kings.' 3. The remaining part, beginning with 2 Chron. x. and ending with the book, gives an account of the separation of the two kingdoms, and a concise history of these kingdoms after the separation. The history of the kingdom of Israel is conformable to that in · Kings,' but is much more succinctly given; while that of the kingdom of Judah is given on a considerably larger scale, and embraces many details of much interest which are not to be found in · Kings '--such, for example, are the particulars of the reformations of religion which took place under Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Manasseh, and Josiah.
The principal object of the writer of Chronicles' appears to have been to shew what had been before the Captivity, and what ought to be after the return from Babylon, the divisions of families, in order that each restored family might re-enter, as nearly as possible, the heritage of its fathersto indicate to the restored exiles what ought to be done for the re-establishment of the divine service-and to furnish them with a concise view of the history of those kingdoms, with particular developments of those parts in which it was connected with the temple worship, and which illustrate the principles of the theocracy, on the observance of which the prosperity of the state had depended. The book thus formed a kind of manual, highly suited to the wants of the restored Jews; and it was no doubt in the hands of many for whom copies of the other books of Scripture, much more of the whole Hebrew Scripture, could not be provided. It is with reference to the first named objects of the compilation that the genealogies which occupy the commencing chapters are given, and by this we understand why the genealogies of the priests and Levites are furnished in so much detail.
The general tendency of all critical opinion, ancient and modern, Jewish and Christian, is to ascribe the authorship of these books to Ezra ; and the more this opinion has of late years been questioned, the more firmly it seems to be established. In the first place it is clear that Chronicles' is the work of one writer. This is seen by the equality of the style, by the uniformity of the plan and principle of the compilation, and by the marked manner in which, throughout, recapitulations are occasionally given and reflections interposed ; and so clearly is this shewn, that even those who question the authenticity of . Chronicles,' admit that it must be regarded as the work of one and the same author. That this writer lived after the Captivity has never been questioned. It is indeed manifest from the reference to post-exilian events, such as the decree of Cyrus (2 Chron. xxxvi. 22, 23), and the mention of the first who inhabited Jerusalem after the Captivity (1 Chron. ix. 2, seq.). The writer also employs terms which are only found in the books written after the Captivity. There are a good number of Chaldaisms in the book, and even the orthography of proper names is frequently different from that which occurs in the books written before the Exile. The instances of this may be seen in Eichhorn's Einleitung, iii. $ 493. Some of the expressions and constructions which distinguish this book from those of earlier date, are also found in · Ezra,' and the peculiarities of ortho. graphy are also the same that we find in the book which bears his name. It is further to be observed that the end of Chronicles' is absolutely the same as the beginning of Ezra,' which is shewn by Grotius to have been a mark of connection and continuation in ancient books, and, among those that have survived to our time, we find it so used by Procopius in his Hist. Vandalicorum et Gothicorum. All these circumstances, taken together, seem to point clearly to Ezra as the writer of 'Chronicles,' or at least there is no other known person of that age with whose authorship of the books they are so perfectly consonant. Indeed there is no other person, known to us, of the period immediately succeeding the Captivity to whom the authorship can on any grounds be assigned ; and if therefore the claim of Ezra be questioned, there is no other claim to be named. Although, therefore, it may be that his claim is not established beyond all doubt, there is quite enough to justify us in refusing to impugn the opinion, ascribing it to him, which can produce in its favour these sanctions of old tradition and of general consent, which, although not of themselves conclusive, are of value and authority when supported by a fair amount of internal evidence and of corroborative circumstances. By conceding, as we have done, that Ezra may not have been the author of Kings,' we exonerate ourselves from the necessity of meeting some of the gravest objections we have met with against his claim to the authorship of Chronicles.' Of those that remain we may notice two, which at the first view possess some force. The first is, that the genealogy of Zerubbabel is in 1 Chron. iii. 19, sqq., carried down to the ninth generation, reaching to about three centuries, after Ezra. But nothing can be more probable than that the continuation of the genealogy of the house of David, about which the Jews continued to be most anxious, from the expectation that the glory and dominion of that house was to be restored, should be the addition of a later hand than the author's. The other argument is, that the decree of Cyrus which concludes Chronicles,' begins Ezra,' which it is urged would not have occurred had both been by the same writer. This, however, has been partly answered already. It is indeed denied that there are any traces in Scripture of the ancient custom of taking up at the beginning of a book the concluding words or circumstances of the preceding, to mark continuation. But this is not conclusive. There are many usages of Scripture sufficiently established by one clear instance corroborated by ancient Gentile usage; and it is not exactly right to say there are no other Scriptural instances. At the commencement of Exodus we have the enumeration of the family of Jacob, which had already been given in Gen. xlvi. Still more, Genesis terminates with the death of Joseph, and the historical narrative is resumed in Exod. i. 6 with the words ' And Joseph died.'
It is partly on the ground which the first of these objections affords that some scholars in Germany have contended that the book was not written before the time of Alexander the Great. Their principal argument, however, arises from the frequent use of the letters *, , ', which they call matres lectiones, and from other marks of an orthography properly Aramaan. Without entering into details in which few of our readers would take interest, it may be remarked that none of the neological writers to whom we refer, able and learned as they are, have succeeded in definiug the time when the peculiar use of these matres lectiones and of the Aramæan orthography became common among the Jews; and there appears no satisfactory reason to doubt that the Aramæan idioms which these writings exhibit might have been easily introduced into their language during the long period of their exile in Chaldæa. See this subject fully and ably discussed in Hävernick's Einleitung in das Alte Testament, i. 2, § 34.
The credibility of Chronicles' has been strongly assailed by such writers as De Wette and Gramberg; but the evidence for the perfect veracity of the writer, and for the truth of the facts he records, is too strong to be shaken. In the two books, but more especially in the second, he often refers to ancient records called the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah and of Israel; and the scrupulous fidelity with which he employed the materials these records afforded is evinced by his having often preserved the very words in which they were written, although involving phrases which were no longer applicable at the time he wrote. Thus in 1 Chron. iv. 42, 43, the Simeonites are described as occupying the seats of the Amalekites in Mount Seir, whom they had expelled, and dwelling there "unto this day,' although the book was written after the seventy years during which the Israelites had been exiled from all their possessions. These words must therefore have been adopted from the contemporary memoir which furnished the notice of the fact. Again, in 2 Chron, v. 9, to the notice of the removal of the ark to Solomon's temple, it is added, and there it is unto this day. But at the time the book was prepared, the temple had long been 'lestroyed and the ark lost; and there was no ark in the second temple. A clearer mark of citation from the exact words of contemporary documents could not be proluced. It is also seen that in a great number of passages the text of Chronicles' agrees word for word with that of Kings,' indicating their common derivation from the ancient annals. Of these annals we need not here add anything to what has been already stated in the Introductions to · Samuel’ and · Kings.' The sincerity and impartiality of the writer are evinced by the equal care with which he records the facts which were disgraceful as those which were honourable to his nation. A large proportion of the circumstances which he relates are recorded in the same manner not only by the author of · Kings,' but by the Psalmist, by the Prophets, and by the inspired writers of the New Testament. It is important also to bear in mind that the Jews themselves, anxious as they always were to preserve historical genealogies, were so well satisfied of the truth of these books as to suffer the original records and documents on which they were founded to become extinct. This certainly was not from inability to preserve them, if they had been so miniled, but in consequence of considering them superseded by the books we still possess, which besides they regard as having been prepared under the Divine sanction, or, in other words, as being inspired.
It has been inore than once suggested that the Chronicles' are in fact superfluous, as they contain little but what is reported in other books of Scripture. It might be as well alleged that the Gospels of Mark and Luke are superfluous because we have that of Matthew. Let those who think thus lightly of · Chronicles' consider well the words of Jerome : The book of Chronicles (Paralipomenon liber), which is an epitome of all ancient history, is so important, that if any one expects to master without this book the entire scope of Scripture he sorely deceives himself. In fact the author touches passingly on many subjects which are wholly omitted in the books of Kings, and thereby furnishes the means of comprehending many passages in the Gospels which could not otherwise be understood' (Epist. ad Puulinum). This he substantially repeats in his preface to the book. (Prafat. in lib. Paralipomenon).
As we expect to elucidate in the notes most of the passages on which charges against the truth and accuracy of the author have been founded, we need not here dwell upon them. It is obvious that those who entertain such opinions of the book and its author must necessarily question its divine authority, and, in fact, its claims to that distinction have not been very sparingly impugned. A primâ facie case in favour of its claim is however established by the fact of its existence in the Hebrew canon, into which it could only on the ground of such claim have obtained admission; and this is confirmed by the fact that the references to its contents by Christ and his Apostles shew that they recognized its claim to a place among the inspired books which constitute the word of God.' Thus the genealogies of Matthew and Luke are manifestly drawn from those in the commencing chapters of Chronicles.' In Matt. xxiii. 32-35, Christ obviously refers to the circumstances recorded in 2 Chron. xxiv. 19-21; and in 1 Pet. i. 17 there is a distinct allusion to the words of Jeioshapbat in 2 Chron. xix. 7. We regret that we cannot here produce for the reader's satisfaction the convincing arguments and proofs by which the objections of Spinosa, De Wette, Gramberg, and others, have been met by the continental writers who have bestowed their attention on the subject. Those of De Wette have been disposed of by Dahler in De librorum Paralipomenon auctoritate atque fide historica, Argentor. 1819; those of Gramberg have been met by Keil in his Apologetischer Versuch über die Bücher der Chronik, Berlin, 1833 ; and both have found a formidable antagonist in Movers, in whose work, Kritische Untersuchungen über die Biblische Chronik, Bonn, 1834, the whole matter has been examined with great ability and success. The subject of the alleged contradictions and discrepancies in Chronicles' has been eficiently handled by Dr. S. Davidson in his Sacred Hermeneutics, 1843, and the same author has a valuable article upon these books in the Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature, 1846. Hävernick, by whose death Biblical scholarship has lately sustained a heavy loss, devotes a hundred of the solid pages of his Einleitung to these books ; and Eichhorn, in thirty-two pages of his Einleitung, embodies much valuable information with respect to them. (See also Die Bücher der Chronik, erklärt von Ernst Bertheau, Leipzig, 1854.]
The books of Chronicles are not devoid of grand descriptions, sublime and touching prayers, and noble discourses, which agreeably relieve the occasional aridity of the genealogical and topographical details. Among such we may indicate the account of the removal of the ark in 1 Chron. xv.; the message from the Lord delivered by Nathan to David, in 1 Chron. xvii.; the more awful message delivered by the prophet Gad and David's answer thereto, in 1 Chron, xxi. 9-13; the thanksgiving prayer drawn from David by the liberality of the offerings which were made by the people towards the future temple, 1 Chron. xxix. 10–19; the address made by king Abijah from the height of Mount Zemaraim to king Jeroboam, in the presence of the adverse armies of Judah and Israel, in 2 Chron. xiii. 4-12; the prayer of king Asa before the battle with the Ethiopians, in 2 Chron. xiv. 11, 12; the address of the prophet Azariah the son of Oded to the same king after his return from the defeat of the Ethiopians, 2 Chron. xv. 2–7; the reproving address of the seer Hanani to the same king on a different occasion, 2 Chron. xvi. 7-9; the prayer of Jehoshaphat on occasion of the invasion of the land by the Ammonites and Moabites, in 2 Chron. xx. 6–12; the messages of king Joash of Israel to king Amaziah of Judah, containing a sarcastic apologue, in 2 Chron. xxv. 18, 19; the exhortation of king Hezekiah to the priests and Levites, in 2 Chron. xxix. 5-11; the letter which the same king sent through the country to induce the tribes to celebrate the passover at Jerusalem, 2 Chron, xxx. 6-9; and his address to his officers to encourage them to resist the Assyrians, in 2 Chron. xxxii. 7, 8.
As the Chronicles' often supply the omissions and explain the details of Kings,' and as the historical basis of both is the same, it is well to read the parallel passages together. To facilitate this task, the trouble of which will be well rewarded by the results, we give the following useful table of parallel passages from De Wette:
1 Chron. i. 1-4. . . . Genesis v.
i. 5-23 . . . , x. 2-29.
,, xi, 10 sqq.
,, xxiii, 8-39.
vi. 1-11. xiv. 1-7 .
v. 11-16. xiv. 8-17 . .
xi. 1, xii. 26-31.
xxi. 18-22. xxi.
,, xxiv. 2 Chron. i. 2-13 . . . 1 Kings iii. 4-15. i. 14-17 . . .
s, X. 26-29.
,, v. 15-32.
2 Chron. xvi. 1-6, 11-14 · 1 Kings xv. 17 24.
xviii. . . . . , xxii. 2-35.
viii. 25-29, ix. 16-28,
xiv. 1-14, 17-20. xxvi, 1-4, 21, 23.
xiv. 21, 22, xv. 2-5, 7. xxvii. 1-3, 9. . , , xv. 33-35, 38.
xxviii, 1-4 . . , , xvi. 2-4. . xxix. 1, 2. . . ,
xviii. 2, 3. , xxxii. 9-21 . . , , xviii. 17-35, xix. 14,
15, 35-37. ,,. xxxii. 24, 25, 30-33 xx. 1, 2, 8, 9, 12, sqq.
20, 21. xxxiii. 1-10, 20 . xxi. 1-10, 18. xxxiii. 21-25 . . , xxi. 19-24. xxxiv. 1, 2, 8-28 .
xxii. xxxiv, 29-33. .
xxiii. 1-20. xxxv. 1, 19, 20-24, xxiii. 21-23, 28-30.
xxxvi. 1. xxxvi. 2-4 . . , xxiii. 31-34. xxxvi. 5, 6, 8. . , xxiii. 36, 37, xxiv.1,6. xxxvi. 9, 10 . . , xxiv. 8-10, 14, 17. xxxvi. 11, 12 . , xxiv. 18, 19. Xxxvi. 22, 23. Ezra i. 1, 2.