Obrazy na stronie
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A.C. 595.

i Is xiii. 7. Jer, vi. 24.

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k Is. xv, 2, 3.
Jer, xlviii. 37.

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15 The sword is without, and the pestilence and the famine within : he that is in the field shall die with the sword; and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him.

16 | But they that escape of them shall escape, and shall be on the mountains like doves in the valleys, all of them mourning, every one for his iniquity.

17 All hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall * be * Heb. go into weak as water.

18 They shall also * gird themselves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads.

19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their + Heb. for a

gold shall be removed : their ' silver and their gold shall uncleanness not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Zeph. i. 18 LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their 1 Or, because bowels : #because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity. their iniquity

20 As for the beauty of his ornament, he set it in mablingblock.

jesty : but they made the images of their abominations and 1 Or, made it of their detestable things therein: therefore have I set it unclean thing. far from them.

21 And I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil; and they shall pollute it.

22'My face will I turn also from them, and they shall 11 Or, burglers. pollute my secret place : for the || robbers shall enter into it,

and defile it.

23 | Make a chain : for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.

24 Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses : I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease ; and * their holy places shall be defiled.

25 + Destruction cometh ; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none.

26 Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients.

27 The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed

with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall Heb. with be troubled : I will do unto them after their way, and ac

cording to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall
know that I am the LORD.

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* Or, they shall inherit their holy places. + Heb. Cutting att

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Their judgments.

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SECTION IV.

Vision of the Idolatries which occasioned the Babylonish

Captivity.

EZEKIEL VIII 26.

1 Ezekiel, in a vision of God at Jerusalem, 5 is shewed the image of jealousy.

7 The chambers of imagery. 13 The mourners for Tammuz. 15 The worshippers towards the sun. 18 God's wrath for their idolatry,

| And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth A.C. 591. month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house,

" I went in,

% It has been already observed (note 1. in period 7.), that there were always two parties among the Jews, the party of the idolaters, and that of the wore shippers of Jehovah; which two parties were in perpetual opposition to each other, and obtained the ascendency as either was protected or depressed by the sovereign of the nation. The eighth chapter of Ezekiel contains a representation in a vision, with which the prophet was favoured, of the total apostacy of the heads of the Jewish nation from the religion of their forefathers. They had gradually become more and more corrupted, after the establishment of idolatry by Solomon; and the period of their long-threatened punishment was rapidly approaching. By the time the sins of this wretched people were ripe for the punishment of their approaching captivity, they had polluted themselves with all kinds of Egyptian abominations. In this vision of Ezekiel, their three chief idolatries are graphically described. The image of jealousy, is supposed to have been either an image of Baal, which had been erected by Manasseh; and though destroyed by his successor, Josiah, had been again restored; or an image of Adonis. The first of their principal idolatries, Bishop Warburton supposes to have been the Egyptian superstitions. The tenth verse, and saw, and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of Israel pourtrayed upon the wall round about.” He interprets, as descriptive of that peculiar imagery, some of which is still seen in the Islac or Bembine table. Mr. Faber supposes them to have been the monstrous forms of those idols, which the Israelites had borrowed from the astronomical mythology of the surrounding nations. Possibly they were images of the same nature as those which our enterprising countrymen have recently discovered in the Egyptian temples. Bishop Warburton futher conjectures, that the passage (in chap. viii. ver. 6—13.) contains a very lively and circumstantial account of the celebrated mysteries of Isis and Osiris. The most solemn celebration of these mysteries were attended by none but princes, rulers, and the wisest of the people. The “ seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel," (ver. 11.) were the Sanhedrim; the appointed and consecrated preservers of the law, and the teachers of the people. Even these had all apostatized ; and were devoting themselves to those corrupt superstitions, in which only the most distinguished adherents to this prevailing idolatry were initiated, and to which it was considered an honour to be admitted.

The second principal idolatry seen by Ezekiel, as practised among the Jews, was the Phænician. He looks toward the gate of the Lord's house, which was towards the north (ver. 14.); that is, in his vision he looks towards Phænicia,

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m Dan v. 5.

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A.C. 594. and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the

Lord God fell there upon me.

2 Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire : from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber.

3 And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me
by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lífted me up be-
tween the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the
visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate
that looketh toward the north ; where was the seat of the
image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.

4 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there,
according to the vision that I saw in the plain.
5 q Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up

thine

eyes
now the way toward the north. So I lifted mine
the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate
of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.

6 He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou
what they do? even the great abominations that the house
of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my

Il An

nch, i. 23.

his fand:

up

eyes

2 The

that the

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and sees, even at the gate of the temple, women weeping for Tammuz," or
Adonis, This idolatry, according to the Phænician custom, was practised in
the open day: and the apostacy among the Jews was represented as so general,
that the women indulged in the superstition of Phænicia, even in the presence of
the temple of Jehovah.

The third principal idolatry by which the people had now debased themselves,
was the Persian, (ver. 16.) “ Behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord,
between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their
backs towards the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and
they worshipped the sun toward the east.” In this representation, the very in-
terior of the temple of Jehovah is polluted. The space between the temple and
the altar, where the Jewish priests invoked the mercy of Jehovah for the people,
was profaned, (Joel ii. 17.) The five and twenty men, mentioned ver. 16.
were probably the twelve priests, and the twelve Levites of the weekly service,
with the high priest at their head. It was the custom of the Jews to turn their
faces towards the temple, when they worshipped, (Dan. vi. 10.) But, in this
vision, Ezekiel sees that even the priests turn their backs upon the temple of
Jehovah ; thereby contemptuously expressing their disregard of the God of their
fathers, and their preference for the ancient idolatries of Chaldea. He sees the
legislature, the women, and the priesthood, alike corrupt and given to idolatry;
and he is compelled to acknowledge the undoubted justice of those severe judg-
ments, which God was now about to inflict on them; and which are represented
in such strong language in the concluding verses of the ninth chapter.

“ Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense their way upon their head."--Faber's Pag. Idol, vol. i. p. 208; Warburton's Divine Legation, vol. i. b. 4. 6. p. 17—23.

man

sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shall see A.C. 594. greater abominations.

7 And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.

8 Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door.

9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.

10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.

11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every

his

censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.

12 Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say,

The Lord seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the och, ix. 9. earth.

13 | He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.

14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD's house which was toward the north ; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.

15 ( Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.

16 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.

17 | Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? * Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that + Or, Is there they commit the abominations which they commit here ? lighter than to for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch

18 Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine P eye shall not p.ch. v. 11. & spare, neither will I have pity: 4 and though they cry in mine 9 Prov. i. 28. ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.

commit,

to their nose.

Is, i, 15. Jer, xi, ll. Mic. wi, 4.

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A.C. 594.

I A vision, whereby is shewed the preservation of sonce, 5 end the destruction of the

rest. 8 God cannot be intreated for them.
1 He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying,
Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near,
even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.

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27 The ninth chapter foretells the preservation of the płous Jews, and denounces vengeance against the idolaters, beginning at the elders and people in the temple. The vision of the coals of fire to be scattered over Jerusalem, and that of the Schechinah departing from the temple, prefigure the destruction of that city, and Jehovah forsaking the sanctuary. Ezekiel (ch. X. ver. 1.) describing the glory of the Lord leaving the temple of Jerusalem; “The sound of the cherubims' wings was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaketh.” Josephus, in his account of the prodigies which preceded the second capture of the temple, relates, “ On the feast of Pentecost, the priests having come by night into the inper temple, to perform their required services, according to their custom; affirmed they first heard a motion, and a noise, and after that a voice as of a great multitude, which said, let us depart hence.” There appears a striking similarity of expressions and circumstances in these two passages : and, on comparing the sublime and terrible account of the final destruction of the temple by Titus, given by the Jewish historian, with the brief narrative of the first siege and capture of the city related by Jeremiah, and in the books of Chronicles and Kings; the parallel will be found so exact in a great number of instances, that the one evidently appears a type of the other. In the first siege, Moses predicts a most fearful famine. Levit. xxvi. 29. and in Deut. xxviii. 53. “ Thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons, and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege and in the straitness wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee.” Jeremiah (ch. xix, ver. 9.) foretells the same calamity; and we find, in Lam, iv, 10. that “the hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children;" and in ver. 4. “They that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.” In both sieges the courts of the temple were defiled with the blood of the slain, (Ezek. ix. 7.) Josephus, in relating the dreadful famine that prevailed at the final destruction of the temple, says, “ The city was well nigh depopulated. Their hunger was so intolerable, that they gathered and eat such things as the most filthy animals would not touch; nor did they abstain from their girdles, shoes, nor the very leather that belonged to their shields. An handful of old hay was sold for four atticks. A woman of the name of Mary, daughter of Eleazer, opulent, and nobly descended, who had Aled to Jerusalem for protection, after trying every means to provoke the faction to put her to death, formed the most horrid and unnatural resolution of destroying her own infant, then at the breast. She slew her child, dressed it, and having eaten one part herself, presented the remainder of this inhuman repast to those robbers, who, for their own subsistence, were in the constant practice of depriving her of her daily support.” Compare Josephus, book vii. with Lamentations, particularly chapters ij. and iv.

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