Page images

also, whom all men obey; but women are su reconciliation by the great humiliation of himperior to them in power. For it was a wo self if at any time he saw her displeased. man who brought the king into the world ; And when the princes and rulers looked and those who plant the vines, and make the one upon another, Zorobabel began to speak wine, they are women who bear them, and about truth : and he said, “ I have already debring them up. Nor indeed is there any thing monstrated how powerful women are. But which we do not receive from them. For both these women and the king are weaker these women weave garments for us ; and our than truth. For although the earth be large, household affairs are by their means taken and the heaven high, and the course of the sun care of, and preserved in safety. Nor can we swift, yet are all these moved according to the live separate from women.

And when we will of God, who is true and righteous. For have got a great deal of gold and silver, and which cause we ought also to esteem truth to any other thing that is of great value, and see be the strongest of all things, and that what a beautiful woman, we leave all these things; || is unrighteous is of no force against it. More. and with open mouth fix our eyes upon

her over all things that have any strength are morcountenance; and are willing to forsake what tal, and short lived, but truth is a thing that is we have, that we may enjoy her beauty, and immortal, and eternal. It affords us not indeed procûre it to ourselves. We also leave father

We also leave father such a beauty as will wither away by time, nor and mother, and the earth that nourishes us, such riches as may be taken away by fortune; and frequently forget our dearest friends, for but righteous roles and laws.

but righteous roles and laws. It distinguishes the sake of women. Nay, we are so hardy | them from injustice, and puts what is unrighas to lay down our lives for them. But what teous to rebuke." * will chiefly make you take notice of the So when Zorobabel had left off his discourse strength of women is this that follows. Do | about truth, and the multitude had cried out not we take pains, and endure a great deal of aloud, that he had spoken the most wisely, , trouble, and that both by land and sea, and and that it was truth alone that had immutawhen we have procured somewhat as the fruit ble strength, and such as never would wax of our labours, do not we bring them to the old ; the king commanded, that he should ask women, as to our mistresses, and bestow them for somewhat over and above what he had upon them ? Nay, 1 once saw the king, who | promised : for that he would give it him ; beis lord of so many people, smitten on the face cause of his wisdom, and that prudence whereby Apamė, the daughter of Rabsases Thema- || in he exceeded the rest. " And thou shalt sit sius, his concubine; and his diadem taken with me,” said the king, "and shalt be called away from him, and put upon her own head:

my cousin.”

When he had said this, Zorobawhile he bore it patiently: and when she hel reminded him of the vow he had made, in smiled he smiled, and when she was angry he case he should ever have the kingdom. Now was sad ; and according to the change of her this vow was, to rebuild Jerusalem, and to passions, he flattered her, and drew her to build therein the temple of God; as also to re

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

* The reader is to note, that although the speeches or papers of these three of the king's guard, are much thu -same in our third Book of Esdras, chap. iii, and iv. as they are in Josephus; yet the introduction of them is entirely different. While in our Esdras the whole is related as the contrivance of the three of the king's guard themselves : and even the mighty rewards are spoken of as proposed by themselves, and the speeches are related to have been delivered by themselves to the king in writing. While all is contrary in Josephus. I need not say whose account is most probable. The matters speak for themselves; and there can be no doubt but Josephus's history is here to be very much preferred before the other. Nor indeed does it seem to me at all unlikely, that the whole

was a contrivance of king Darius's, in order to be de-
cently and inoffensively put in mind by Zorobabel, of
fulfilling his old vow for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and
the temple, and the restoration of the worship of the
One True God there. Nor does the full meaning of Zoro-
babel, when he cries out, 1 Esd, iv. 40. 6 Blessed be the
God of truth;" and here, “ God is true and righteous :"
or even of all the people, 1 Esd. iv. 41, “ Great is truth,
and mighty above all ihings,” seem to me much different
from this, " There is but One True God, the God of Israel."
To wbich doctrine, such as Cyrus, Darius, &c. those
great patrons of the Jews, seem not to bave been very
averse; though the entire idolatry of their kingdom made
them generally conceal it.


store the vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had from the king, he went out of the palace; and, pillaged, and carried to Babylon. “ And looking up to heaven, he began to return tbis," said he, “ is that request which thou thanks to God for the wisdom he had givens: now permittest me to make, on account that I him, and the victory be had gained thereby;:have been judged to be wise, and to have un even in the presence of Darius himself.: - For, derstanding."

said be, “ I had not been thought worthy of So the king was pleased with what he said, these advantages, O Lord, unless thou hadst and arose, and kissed him; and wrote to the been favourable to me." When therefore he toparchs and governors ; and enjoined them had returned thanks to God for the present to conduct Zorobabel, and those that were go- circumstances he was in, and had prayed to: ing with him to build the temple. He also him, to afford him the like favour for time to sent letters to those rulers that were in Syria come, he came to Babylon ; and brought the and Phænicia, to cut down and carry cedar good news to his countrymen of what grants trees from Lebanon to Jerusalem ; and to as he had procured for them from the king. sist him in building the city. He also wrote When they heard this, they also gave thanks to them, that all the captives who should go to God that he had restored the land of their : to Judea should be free : and he prohibited | forefathers to them again. So they betook . his deputies and governors from imposing any themselves to drinking and eating; and for king's taxes upon the Jews. He also per seven days they kept a festival, for the remitted, that they should have all that land building and restoration of their city. After which they could possess themselves of with this they chose themselves rulers, who should out tribute. At the same time he enjoined go up to Jerusalem, out of the tribes of their the Idumeans and Samaritans, and the inba- | forefathers, with their wives, and children, and bitants of Cælesyria, to restore those villages cattle, who travelled to Jerusalem with great which they had taken from the Jews; and pleasure, under the conduct of those whom Dathat, besides all this, fifty talents should be rius sent along with them : and they made a given them towards the building of the temple. cheerful noise with songs, and pipes, and cymHe also permitted them to offer their appoint-bals, the rest of the Jewish multitude accomed sacrifices, and promised' whatsoever the panying them with rejoicing. high-priest and the priests wanted, and those And thus did these men go a certain and sacred garments wherein they used to worship determinate number out of every family: God, should be made at his own expence : though I do not think it proper to recite parand that the musical instruments which the ticularly the names of those families ; * that I Levites used in singing hymns to God should may not take off the mind of my readers from be given them. Moreover he charged them, the connection of the historical facts, and that portions of land should be given to those make it hard for them to follow the coherence that guarded the city, and the temple, as also of my narrations. But the sum of those that a determinate sum of money every year, for went up, above the age of twelve years, of the their maintenance : and withal he sent the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, was four † hunvessels. And all that Cyrus intended to do dred and sixty two. myriads, and eight thou. before him, relating to the restoration of Jeru- sand. The Levites were seventy-four; the salem, Darius ordained should be done accord-number of women and children mixed togeingly,

ther; was forty thousand seven hundred and When Zorobabel had obtained these grants forty-two. And besides these, there were

* See Ezra ii. 1–70. Nehemiah vii. 6-70.

also, as well as these, out of the two tribes, and out of + This number of 4,620,000 in Josephus's present co them only; and were in all no more than a seed, and a pies, is one of the grossest errors that is in them; and remnant; while an immense number of the ten tribes ought to be corrected from Ezra ii, 64. 1 Esd. v. 40, and never returned; but as he believed, continued then beNeb, vii. 66, who all agree the general sum was but about | yond Euphrates : chap. 5. Of which multitude of Jews 42,360. It is also very plain, that Josephus thonght, | beyond Euphrates, be speaks frequently elsewhere. when Esdras afterward brought up another company out Though, by the way, he never takes them to be idolatérs; of Babylon and Persia, in the days of Xerxes, they were but looks on them still as observers of the laws of Moses.


singers of the Levites one hundred and twen while they did this they did not please the ty-eight; porters one hundred and ten; and neigbbouring nations : who regarded them of the sacred ministers three hundred and with envy and ill will. They also celebrated ninety-two. There were also others who said the feasts of tabernacles at that time, as the lethey were of the Israelites, but were not able | gislator had ordained : and after that they ofto shew their genealogies, six hundred and fered sacrifices, and what were called the daily sixty-two. Some there were also who were sacrifices, and the oblations proper for the expelled out of the number and honor of the sabbath, and for all the holy festivals. Those priests, as having married wives whose ge- || also that had made vows performed them; nealogies they could not produce ; nor were and offered their sacrifices, from the first day they found in the genealogies of the Levites of the seventh month. They also began to and priests : they were about five hundred and build the temple, and gave a great sum of motwenty-five. The multitude also of servants, ney to the masons and carpenters ; and what followed those that went up to Jerusalem, se was necessary for the maintenance of the ven thousand three hundred, and thirty-seven. || workmen. The Sidonians also were very will

The singing men and singing women were ing to bring cedar trees from Libanus, to bind two hundred and forty-five. The camels were them together, and to make an united float of four hundred and thirty-five; the beasts used them, and to bring them to the port of Joppa. to the yoke were five thousand five hundred For that was what Cyrus had commanded at and twenty-five. And the governors of all | first; and what was now done at the command the multitude, thus numbered, were Zoroba- | of Darius. bel, the son of Salathiel, of the posterity of In the second yeart of their coming to David, and of the tribe of Judah and Jeshua, Jerusalem, as the Jews were there, in the sethe son of Josedek, 'the high-priest. And cond month, the building of the temple went besides these, there were Mordecai and Sere

on apace. And when they had laid the founbeus, who were distinguished from the multi-dation, on the first day of the second month, tude, and were rulers: who also contributed of that year, they appointed, as overseers of a hundred pounds of gold and five thousand of the work, such Levites as were full twenty silver. By this means therefore the priests, | years old, and Jeshua, and his sons and breand the Levites, and a certain part of the peo- | thren, and Cadmiel, the brother of Judas, the ple of the Jews that were in Babylon, came son of Aminadab, with his sons. And by the and dwelt in Jerusalem : but the rest of the great diligence of those that had the care of maltitude returned to their own countries. it, the temple was finished sooner than any

one would have expected. The priests, then, CHAP. IV.

adorned with their accustomed garments, stood with their trumpets : wbile the Levites, and the sons of Asaph, stood, and sang

hymns to God, according as David had first IN N the seventh month, after they were de. of all appointed. Now the priests, and Le

parted out of Babylon, both Jeshua the vites, and the elder part of the families, recolhigh-priest, and Zorobabel, the governor, sent || lecting how much greater and more sumptumessengers every way round about, and ga ous the old temple had been ; and contrasting thered those that were in the country toge- it with the inferiority of the new one, they ther to Jerusalem. * They then built the al considered with themselves how much their tar, on the place wbere it formerly stood ; that happy state was sunk below what it had been they might offer the appointed sacrifices upon of old, as well as their temple. Hereupon they it to God, according to the laws of Moses. But were very disconsolate, and proceeded so far




* Ezra jii. I.

The certain part of the people that now came up from Babylon, at the end of this chapter, imply the same smaller number of Jews that now came up, and will no way agree with the 4,620,000.

VOL. I. (34.)

+ An. $19.

5 K


as to lament and shed tears on those accounts. || Phænicia, and Sathrabuzanes, with certain But the people in general were contented others, came up to Jerusalem, and asked the with their present condition; and because rolers of the Jews, by whose grant it was they were allowed to build them a temple, that they built the temple in this manner? they desired no more ; and neither regarded, since it was more like a citadel than a témnor indeed at all tormented themselves with ple. And for what reason it was that they the comparison of that and the former tem built cloisters and walls, and those strong ones ple; as if this were below their expectations. too, about the city ? Zerobabel, and Jeshua But the wailing of the old men, and of the the high-priest, replied, that “ they were the priests, on account of the deficiency of this

servants of God Almighty : that this temple temple, in their opinion, if compared with was built for him by a king of theirs, that lived that which had been demolished, overcame in great prosperity, and one that exceeded all the sounds of trumpets, and the rejoicing of men in virtue ; and that it continued a long the people. *

time; but that, because of the inpiety of When the Samaritans, who were still ene their forefathers, Nebuchadnezzar, king of the mies to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, Babylonians and of the Chaldeans, took their heard the sound of the trumpets, they came city by force, and destroyed it, and pillaged running together, and desired to know what the temple, and burnt it down, and transplantwas the occasion of this tumult? and when

ed the people whom he had made captives; they perceived that it was from the Jews, who and removed them to Babylon :-that Cyrus had been carried captive to Babylon, and who, after him, was king of Babylonią and were rebuilding their temple; they came to Persia, wrote to them to build the temple; Zorobabel, and to Jeshua, and to the heads and committed the gifts and vessels, and whatof the families, and desired they would give ever Nebuchadnezzar had carried out of: them leave to assist in building the temple. to Zorobabel, and Mithridates, the treasurer; “ For” said they “we worship your God, and and gave order to bave them carried to Jeru: especially pray to him, and are desirous of the salem, and to have them restored to their own same religious settlement ; and this ever since temple, when it was built. For he had sent Shalmanezer, king of Assyria, transplanted us to them to have that done speedily; and.comout of Cuthah and Media to this place.” † | manded Senabassar to go up to take care of the When they said thus, Zorobabel, and Jeshua, building of the temple. Who upon receiving the high-priest, and the heads of the families that epistle from Cyrus, came and immediof the Israelites replied, that it was impossible ately laid its foundations. “ And although it to permit them to be their partners, whilst hath been in building from that time to thisi" they only had been appointed to build that said they, “it hath not yet been finished, by temple at first hy Cyrus, and now by Darius : I reason of the malignity of our enemies. if although it was indeed lawful for them to come therefore you think proper, write this account and worship there if they pleased ; and that to Darius ; that when he hath consulted the they could allow them nothing but that in com records of the kings, he may find that wé, : mon with them.

have told you nothing that is false about this When the Cutheans S heard this, they had matter.' indignation at it, and persuaded the nations When Zorobabel and the high-priest had of Syria to desire of the governors, in the made this answer, Sisinnes, and those that same manner as they had done formerly in the were with him, did not resolve to hinder the days of Cyrus, and in the time of Cambyses building, until they had informed king Daafterwards, to put a stop to the building of the rius of all this. So they immediately wrote temple; and to endeavor to delay and pro to him about these affairs; while the Jews tract the Jews in their zeal about it. Now at were under terror, and afraid lest the king this time Sisiones, the governor of Syria, and should change his resolution, as to the build

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]


ing of Jerusalem, and of the temple. Therë other things that the priests should suggest to were, however, two prophets at that time them, and that they should pray for the preamong them, Haggai and Zechariah, who en servation of the king and of the Persians; and couraged them, and bade them be of good that for such as transgressed any of these orcheer, and to suspect no discouragement from ders thus sent to them, he commanded that the Persians : for that God foretold this to they should be hung on a cross, and their them. So in dependence on those prophets, substance confiscated to the king's use. He they applied themselves earnestly to building, | also prayed to God against them, that if any. and did not intermit one day.

one attempted to hinder the building of the Now the Samaritans, in their epistle to Da- | temple, God would strike him dead, and thererius, had accused the Jews of fortifying the by restrain his wickedness.” city, and building the temple more like a

When Darius had found this book among citadel than a temple ; and said that their the records of Cyrus, he wrote the following doings were not expedient for the king's af answer to Sisinnes, and his associates :fairs, and besides, they shewed the epistle of “ King Darius, to Sisinnes the governor, Cambyses, wherein he forbade them to build and to Sathrabuzanes, sendeth greeting. Havthe temple. Darius therefore, when he un- ing found a copy of this epistle among

the derstood that the restoration of Jerusalem was cords of Cyrus, I have sent it you: and I will not expedient for his affairs, and when he had that all things be done as is therein written. read the epistle that was brought him from Fare ye well. ' Sisinnes, and those that were with him, gave So when Sisinnes, and those that were with order that what concerned these inatters him, understood the intention of the king, should be sought for among the royal records. they resolved to follow his directions for the Accordingly a book was found at Ecbatana, in

time to come.

So they forwarded the sacred the tower that was in Media, wherein was work, and assisted the elders of the Jews, written as follows: “ Cyrus the king, in the and the princes of the Sanhedrim: and the first year of his reign, commanded that the structure of the temple was, with great .dilitemple should be built in Jerusalem, and the gence, brought to a conclusion ; by the proaltar, in height sixty cubits, and its breadth phecies of Haggai and Zecharaiah, according of the same, with three edifices of polished to God's commands, and by the injunctions of stone, and one edifice of stone of their own Cyrus and Darius * the kings. Now the temcountry : and he ordained that the expences ple was built in † seven years' time. And in .of it should be paid out of the king's revenue. the ninth year of the reign of Darius, on the

He also commanded that the vessels which twenty-third day of the twelfth month, which "Nebuchadnezzar had pillaged out of the tem is by us called Ådar, but by the Macedonians,

ple, and had carried to Babylon, should be re Dystrus ; the priests and Levites, and the stored to the people of Jerusalem, and that the multitude of the Israelites, offered sacrifices : care of these things should belong to Sena as the renovation of their former prosperity, afbassar, the governor, and president of Syria ter their captivity; and becamse they had the and Phænicia, and to his associates; that they temple rebailt: a hundred bulls, two hundred may not meddle with that place : but may rams, four hundred lambs, and twelve kids of permit the servants of God, the Jews, and the goats, according to the number of their their rulers, to build the temple. He also or tribe : I (for so many are the tribes of the dained that they should assist them in the Israelites) and this last for the sios of every work, and that they should pay to the Jews, tribe. The priest also, and the Levites, set the

out of the tribute of the country.where they porters at every gate, according to the laws of were governors, on account of the sacrifices, Moses. The Jews also built the cloisters of bulls, rams, lambs, and kids of the goats: and the inner temple, that were round about the fine flour, together with oil, and wine, and all temple itself.


| Ezra vi. 17.

*. Ezra vi. 14.

From An. 519 to An. 512, B. C.


« PreviousContinue »