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the spices.

every sab- Heb. bread

|| Heb. upon them.

d ch, viii. 29.

sels, and all the * instruments of the sanctuary, and the fine A.C. About flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and

* Or, vessels. 30 And some of the sons of the priests made the oint-c Ex. xxx.2. ment of the spices.

31 And Mattithiah, one of the Levites, who was the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, had the + set office over the + Or, trust. things that were made fin the pans.

1 Or, on flat

plates, or, 32 And other of their brethren, of the sons of the Koha- slices. thites, were over the $ shew-bread, to prepare it

of ordering: bath.

33 And these are the singers, chief of the fathers of the Levites, who remaining in the chambers were free: for || they were employed in that work day and night.

34 These chief fathers of the Levites were chief throughout their generations; these dwelt at Jerusalem.

35 And in Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon, Jehiel, whose wife's name was d Maachah :

36 And his first-born son Abdon, then Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Ner, and Nadab,

37 And Gedor, and Ahio, and Zechariah, and Mikloth,

38 And Mikloth begat Shimeam. And they also dwelt with their brethren at Jerusalem, over against their brethren.

39 e And Ner begat Kish; and Kish begat Saul; and Saul e ch. viii. 33. begat Jonathan, and Malchi-shua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal.

40 And the son of Jonathan was Merib-baal: and Meribbaal begat Micah.

41 And the sons of Micah were, Pithon, and Melech, and Tahrea, fand Ahaz.

42 And Ahaz begat Jarah ; and Jarah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza;

43 And Moza begat Binea ; and Rephaiah his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son.

44 And Azel had six sons, whose names are these, Azri-
kam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah,
and Hanan : these were the sons of Azel.

NEHEMIAH XTI 43. ver. 10—27.
10 | And Jeshua begat Joiakim, Joiakim also begat
Eliashib, and Eliashib begat Joiada,

fch. viii, 35,

43 This passage from Nehemiah is inserted here, because in ver. 11. Jaddua is mentioned. Jaddua was the high priest who met Alexander the Great, and whom that conqueror venerated as the servant of God; declaring that a person habited as the high priest had appeared to him in a vision, and had encouraged him to lay aside all his scruples, and advance with his army against the Per

A.C. About 300.

dua.

11 And Joiada begat Jonathan, and Jonathan begat Jad

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sians. In verse 22, Darius, the Persian monarch whom Alexander had de
feated, is spoken of as having lived some years before ; that is, he is mentioned
in the same manner as we should refer to a sovereign who was familiarly known,
by name, and whose reign had long terminated. It may be presumed, there
fore, that this passage was added by Simon the Just, who died about 291 BC.
and before his death finally completed the canon of Scripture. This Sima
(Prideaux observes) had by the uprightness of his actions, and the righteousnes
of his conversation, both towards God and man, merited the sirname of the Just
so also was he in all respects a very extraordinary person ; which the character
given of him in the 50th chapter of Ecclesiasticus sufficiently shews. Ther,
many of his good works, for the benefit both of the church and state of the Jews
are mentioned with their due praise. But his chiefest work was the finishing of
the canon of the scriptures of the Old Testament. What was done bereia by
Ezra hath been above related, (Period viii. chap. ii. sect v. note.) The books
afterwards added, were the two books of Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther,
and Malachi. That these could not be put into the canon by Ezra, is plzin;
for four of those books are, upon just grounds, supposed to have been written by
himself (that is, the two books of Chronicles, and the books of Ezra and Escher,
and the book of Nehemiah was written after his time, and so most likely wa
the book of Malachi also : and therefore a latter time must be assigned for their
insertion into the canon, and none is more likely than that of Simon the dust

,
who is said to have been the last of the men of the great synagogue. Par
what the Jews call the great synagogue were a number of elders amounting
to 120, who, succeeding some after others, in a continued series, from the return
of the Jews again into Judea, after the Babylonish captivity, to the time of
Simon the Just, laboured in the restoring of the Jewish church and state in that
country; in order whereto, the holy scriptures being the rule they were to go
by, their chief care and study was to make a true collection of those scriptures,
and publish them accurately to the people. Ezra, and the men of the great
synagogue that lived in his time, completed this work as far as they coul.
And as to what remained farther to be done in it, where can we better place the
performing of it, and the ending and finishing of the whole than in the tice of
Simon the Just, who was the last of them? And that especially, since there are
some particulars in those books which seem necessarily to refer down to times &
late as those of Alexander the Great, if not later. For, in the third chapter di
the first book of Chronicles, we have the genealogy of the sons of Zerubbabel
carried down for so many descents after him, as may well be thought to reach
the time of Alexander : and, in the book of Nehemiah, chap. xii. ver: 21. He
have the days of Jaddua spoken of, as of days past; but Jaddua outlived Aler-
ander two years. I acknowledge these passages to have been interpolated peas-
sages, both put in after the time of Ezra, and after the time of Nehemiah (wbo
were the writers of those books,) by those who completed the canon. To say
they were inserted by those holy men themselves, who wrote the books, the
chronology of their history will not bear : for then they must have lived down
beyond those times which those passages refer us to ; but this is inconsistent with
what is written of them. And to say that they were put in by any other than

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12 And in the days of Joiakim were priests, the chief of A.C. About the fathers : of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah ;

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those, who, by the direction of the Holy Spirit of God, completed the canon of the scriptures, will be to derogate from their excellency; and therefore we must conclude, that, since Simon the Just was the last of those that were employed in this work, it was by him that the last finishing hand was put thereto, and that it was in his time, and under his presidency, and chiefly by his direction, that the canon of the holy scriptures of the Old Testament, by which we now receive them, was perfected, and finally settled in the Jewish church.

To these remarks selected from the laborious and learned writer who has been so frequently referred to in these latter notes, few observations are necessary to be added. The wisdom of that dispensation of Providence which closed the canon of Scripture at this period will be evident if we consider the circumstances of the Jewish church. The Jews had now been restored to their own country, and to their own ecclesiastical and civil rights more than two hundred years. Idolatry now no longer existed, and the laws of their great legislator were so firmly established among them, and held in such high reverence, that some few years before the death of Simon the Just, rather than infringe on the holiness of the Sabbath they permitted Ptolemy to assault and capture Jerusalem without offering any resistance. They considered themselves a holy nation, and the peculiar chosen people of God; and so great and so zealous was their atcachment at this time to the ritual and ceremonial law, that they were in no danger of rejecting the one true God: the spirit therefore of prophecy, and the power of working miracles, had accomplished the object for which they were designed, and were now no longer necessary. The Jews, weaned from idolatry, and confirmed in the faith and worship of the one true God, were become the anxious and zealous guardians of his revealed religion.

After the conquests of Alexander, the Greek language gradually prevailed over the greater part of the known world, and with it a taste for literature was diffused. With the wonderful history of the Jews the surrounding nations must have been well acquainted, and as these people possessed the most valuable and authentic records, the well informed and the curious would be emulous to obtain a knowledge of them. To this spirit of inquiry and information may be perhaps attributed the demand for their Scriptures in the Greek language.

Ptolemy about this time desired to place the Jewish Scriptures in his library : and the Septuagint version is supposed to have been now made or finished at his request, or for the use of the Jews in Alexandria ; the difference between this version and the Hebrew in many passages may be accounted for by supposing that only a part was translated at the request of Ptolemy, many of the books perhaps having been already done from unauthenticated copies for the use of the hellenizing Jews in various countries : all that we can be certain of however on this subject is, that they must have been collected into one volume after the time of Simon the Just, because the Septuagint version contains the whole of the canonical books, which before his time were not completed.

From the universality of the Greek language, and the dispersion of the Jews, the Septuagint probably was extensively known throughout the Pagan world, and the knowledge of the true God, who never leaves himself without a witness,

A.C. About 13 Of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan;
300.

14 Of Melicu, Jonathan ; of Shebaniah, Joseph ;
15 Of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai;
16 Of Iddo, Zechariah ; of Ginnethon, Meshullam;
17 Of Abijah, Zichri; of Minjamin ; of Moadiah, Piltai;
18 Of Bilgah, Shammua ; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan;
19 And of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi;
20 Of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber;
21 Of Hilkiah, Hashabiah ; of Jedaiah, Nethaneel.

22 ( The Levites in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, were recorded chief of the fathers : also the priests, to the reign of Darius the Persian.

23 The sons of Levi, the chief of the fathers, were written Chron. ix. in the book of the 8 chronicles, even until the days of Jo

hanan the son of Eliashib.

24 And the chief of the Levites : Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brethren over against them, to praise and to give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, ward over against ward.

14, &c.

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was thus communicated and preserved among the Gentiles, now that mirade and prophecy had ceased among the Jews.

The dispensation of Providence which ordained the discontinuance of mirades served to fix the attention of the Jews exclusively to the study of their Scriptures as the only means now left them of becoming acquainted with the divine wil

; it likewise tended to excite more forcibly the attention of the people to bring who in the appointed time, united in his own person the gifts and power, of miracle, and of prophecy. When Christ came into the world, his apperant was generally expected. The great anticipated a temporal king, a mighty hero, a conqueror of the Roman power. The poorer and more reflecting, looked for him as the consolation of Israel, and few only understood the real nature of that spiritual dominion over the heart and conscience which he came to establish.

The time of the Messiah at length arrived. He was born in a manger, and cradled with oxen. The humble appearance—the unostentatious behaviourthe simple and pure teaching of the meek and lowly Jesus but ill accorded with the preconceived notions that had been formed of his appearance and kingdom

. With these deep-rooted prejudices to overcome, nothing but the undeniable miracles of Christ could have satisfied the minds of men that he was the predicted Messiah. The long antecedent cessation of miracles made their revival more powerful and more efficacious, Our Lord therefore constantly appealed to them to confirm his mission. When John sent his disciples to inquire of hit, “art thou he that should come?” Jesus answered only by giving sight to the blind, strength to the lame, and by raising the dead to life, saying, “Go and tell John what ye have seen and heard.” His miracles fully demonstrated his power and Godhead, and convinced every unprejudiced mind that the glory of the second temple had appeared, and that God had visited his people.

25 Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, A.C. 300. Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the ward at the * thresholds of the gates.

26 These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest, the scribe.

Or, treasu. ries, or, as semblics.

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VOL. II.

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