hold this proposition firmly established, that Iran, or Persia in its largest sense, was the true centre of population, of knowledge, of languages, and of arts; which, instead of travelling westward only, as it has been fancifully supposed, or eastward, as might with equal reason have been asserted, were expanded in all directions to all the regions of the world, in which the Hindoo race had settled under various denominations.

Works of Sir W. Jones, vol. i.

the testimony of the Persian Historians, we cannot ascribe the delivery of the Jews to the first Cyrus. The Easterns assure us, that Ardeshir sent a prince (B. C. 646), named Coresh, descended from Lohorasp, to punish Baltazar, son of Bakhtnassar, who was grown very insolent in his government of Babylon ; that Coresh conquered Baltazar, and was raised by the King (see ch. iv. 3) to the supreme command of that City, where he protected and encouraged the captive Jews. The Persians could have no inducement to juvent this tale, and as it was recorded in the oldest Annals of the kingdom, we cannot help giving some credit to it. They tell us also, that Baktnassar signified, in old Chaldean, The Servant of Nassar, an idol of the Babylonians ; but it seems a better opinion, that the true word was Nebohadonassar, derived from Nebo, Hadon, and Assar, which, we know, were names of three Assyrian deities.

Ibid. pol. v. pp. 594, 596.

pp. 73, 94.

3478. [2 Chron. xxxvi. 22.] Whatever our Chronologers say, it is not easy to conceive, that the Jews were delivered by Cyrus (the noted warrior): the name Coresh, used here (and throughout the Scriptures), has no affinity with the Persian word Khostu (Cyrus), and we cannot suppose any corruption (invariable) in the sacred Text; whereas all the Persian writers agree that a priuce, named Coresh, who was sent by Bahaman, son of Asfendiar, to goveru Babylon in the room of Baltazar, actually protected the captive Jews, and permitted them to rebuild their Temple. Our historians, perhaps, deceived by the name Cyrus, which the Greeks gave both to Khosru and to Coresh, have fixed the return of the Jews much earlier than the truth.

We may safely place the building of the second temple under the reign of Artaxerxes; since, for the reasons before alleged, which appear very decisive, and are confirmed by

3479. [2 Chron. xxxvi. 23.) The primeval religion of Iran, or Persia, was, a firm helief, that One Supreme God made the world by his power, and continually governed it by his providence; a pious fear, love, and adoration of Him; a due reverence for parents and aged persons; a fraternal affection for the whole human species, and a compassionate tenderness even for the brute creation,

Ihid. vol. i. p. 87.



1 YTHAGORAS was killed 471 years before the birth # of Christ, in a battle between the Syracusans and Agrigentines.

BARTOLOMEO, by Johnston, p. 251. This Book of Ezra should be placed at the beginning of Esdras, not bound up in this Copy.

3486. [Ezra ii. 69.] Each drachm of gold being worth about 10 shillings of our money, and every mina of silver about nine pounds sterling, the whole would amount to seventy-five thousand five hundred pounds ; a collection raised, it stems, among those (previously) returned to Jerusalem, and added voluntarily to what had been contributed by their brethren abroad aud deemed sufficient to rebuild the Temple.

Ibid. p. 505. Fide thousand pounds of silder) Should be rendered, fifteen thousand pounds. See 1 Kings x. 17.

3481. [Ezra ii. 2.) Some think the Nehemiah and Mor. decai enumerated here to be the same persons that are so often mentioned in the books of Esther and Nehemiah ; and that finding the work of the Temple obstructed by their enemies, they returned to Shushan.

Unider. Hist, vol. ix. p. 502.

3482. [ 59. Tel-harsa] Probably the same as Telassor, a province of Assyria.

Ibid. p. 504.

3486. (Ezra iii. 2.] The office of high-priesthood belonged to Jeshua by lineal descent, he being the son of Jozadak, whose father Seraiah, high-priest at the taking of Jerusalem, had been put to death at Riblah, 2 Kings xxv. 18. 21. — As for Jozadak, he was carried captive into Babylon, and had been dead some time before the publishing of Cyrus's decree; so that Jeshua was then, head of the pontifical family.

Ibid. p. 502.

3483. ( 63.] Though Cyrus had given licence to the Jews to return to their own country, and to exercise their religion as formerly ; yet, from Neh. ix. 38, it appears, that those who returned were as much subject to him as those who remained under his immediate jurisdiction ; and, from the words before us, it is equally evident, that Cyrus's governor considered himself as completely at the head even of their ecclesiastical law,

See HUTCHINSON's Covenant in the

Cherubim, p. 168.

3487. [Ezra iv. 3.) 'A word, which signifies King, was applied by the Persians to every Governor of a province, and the lofty title, King of Kings, which their monarchs afterwards assumed, was no more than Ruler of Rulers, or, Chief of several Chiefs.

Works of Sir W. Jones, vol. v.

p. 595.

3484. [ 63. Tirshatha] Or hatirshatha Hebr.), cup-bearer, as Nehemiah seeins to have been to Artaxerxes. The title however, seems to imply some high dignity, as governor, lord-lieutenant, or deputy; for Sheshbazzar or Zerubbabel evidently held such office.

Unider. Hist. vol. jx. p. 601.

3488. - This refusal was doubtless highly uncharitable, and brought after it a long train of mischiefs. Good

what is here called Achmetha, where we are assured the decree was actually lodged.

Ibid. vol. iv. p. 381.

Josiah, one of the best kings that ever reigned in Judah, acted differently, inviting these nations to the solemuities at Jerusalem, and destroying thereby idolatry throughout the kingdom ; see 2 Kings xxiii. passim. — They seem to have acted as unadvisedly as. Joshua did, with respect to the Gibeonites (see Josh. ix. 14); otherwise they would uot have forgot that charity which the Mosaic law commands towards its proselytes, see Exod. xii. 48, et alib. pass.

3495. [Ezra vi. 14, 15.) After the second of Cyrus, the rebuilding of the Temple was interrupted till the second of Darius, when in seven years it was finished, on the ninth of Darius.

See WAISTON's Note on Joseph.

Against Apion, $ 21.

3489. [Ezra iv. 6, 7.] Ahasuerus was Cambyses, and Artaxerxes Smerdis ; as none 'but Cambyses and Smerdis reigned between Cyrus and Darias.

Unider. Hist. vol. iv. p. 661.


This Artaxerxes, one of the Magi, is named Smerdis by Herodotus; Mardys by Æschylus ; Spendadates by Ctesias : and Oropastes by Justin.

Ibid. p. 557.


After the Babylonish captivity, Adar was the name of the twelfth month, answering nearly to our February. — In 'the warın Eastern countries, as February advances, the fields, which were partly green before, now, by the springing up of the latter grain, become entirely covered with an agreeable verdure : and though the trees continue in their leafless state till the end of this month or the beginning of March, yet the almond, when latest, being in blossom before the middle of February, and quickly, succeeded by the apricot, peach, &e. gives the gardens an agreeable appearance. The spring now becomes extremely pleasant.

See Russel's Nat. Hist. of Aleppo,

pp. 13, 30. And HASSELQUIST's Trav. p. 27.

3491. [-10.] Asnapper is Esar-haddon, the third son of Sennacherib king of Assyria.

3492. [— 14.] When the emperor of Russia would shew extraordinary grace and favor to any, he sent hırn bread and salt from his table. And when he invited baron Segismund, the emperor Ferdinand's ambassador, he did it in this form, " Segismund, you shall eat your bread and salt with us."

Mede's Works, p. 370. fol.

3497. [Ezra vii. 13.] Thus did the decree of Artaxerxes, as well as that of Cyrus, ch. i. 3, include all the twelve tribes of Israel that should worship God at Jerusalem ; see ch. vi. 16, 17.

Unider. Hist. vol. ix. p. 503.

3498. (22. Sali] The French process for refining sugar, requires not the use of bullock's blood, nor other offensive materials hitherto employed by the sugar-bakers.

Month. Mag. for Feb. 1812, p. 54.

3493. [Ezra v. 16. Sheshbazzar] This probably was Zerubbabel's Babylonish name, it being customary for those conquerors to change the names of their captives, as we find they did those of some of the latter kings of Judah, see 2 Kings xxiv. 17; as well as those of Daniel and his three companions, Dan. i. 7.

Univer. Hist. vol. ix. p. 501.

3499. [-26.] Extirpation, in the sense here used, and in ch. x. 8, consisted evidently in the confiscation of all the property of the culprit, and his separation from the people.

Smith's MICHAELIS, vol. iii. p. 437.

3494. [Ezra vi. 2.) JOSEPHUS (Antig. b. xi. c. 4) acquaints us, that the decree of Cyrus, respecting the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem, was found at Echbatana. This plainly proves, that city to be the same with

3500. [Ezra viii. 27.] Sir J. CHARDIN has mentioned a mixed metal used in the East, and highly esteemed there, ples, but their palaces, either to obstruct the sight, or the approach of the people.

Univer. Hist, vol. iii. p. 283.

wbich might probably be of as antient an origin as the time of Ezra. — I have heard, says he, some Dutch gentlemen speak of a' metal in the island of Sumatra and


the Macassars, much more esteemed than gold, which royal personages alone might wear. It is a mixture, he adds, if I remember right, of gold and steel, or of copper and steel. Calmbac is this metal, composed of gold and copper ; it in color nearly resembles the pale carnation rose, has a very fine grain, and the polish extremely lively. Gold is not of 80 lively and brilliant a color.

See Chardin's MS. Notes. Hurmer,

dol. ii. p. 490.

3503. (Ezra x. 10.] Moses married a Midianite, Boaz a Moabite; Maacha, Absalom's mother, was the daughter of Talmai, king of Gesher; Amasa was the son of Jether, an Ishmaelite, by Abigail, David's sister ;, and Solomon, in the beginning of his reign, married Pharaoh's daughter. When therefore we find the Lord's people blamed for marrying strange wives, we are to understand the prohibition of those women that represented idolatrous Churches, and were unconverted to the Jewish religion.

Ibid. p.


3501. (Ezra ix. 8.] At the beginning of every year, the antient Hetrurians were accustomed, by way of Calendar, to fix a nail regularly in their great Temple. This act, attesting their notion of the commencement of the year, we are assured by Festus Rufus and Livy, was performed precisely on the day of the autumnal equinox.

See Dr. GREGORY's Assyrian Monarchy,

[blocks in formation]

p. 215.

[blocks in formation]

3507. [Neh. ii. 19. Sanballat the Horonite] Being a native of Horonaim, a city of Moab.

Unider. Hist. vol. ix.

p. 541.

3509. [19.] Pinah (Hebr.), the point of an angle ; or, as it is called by artists, the salient angle. This kind of angle forms a corner, or open place, in its interior, This corner-gate lay to the north.

Univer. Hist. vol. iii. pp. 597, 604. is very common to see many of them that have stood for this purpose above 300 years.

Modern Unider. Hist. pol. viii. p. 316.

35 13. [Neh. viii. 15.] The pine-tree, once cut down, shoots out again no more.

St. Pierre's Stud. of Nat. vol. ii. p. 302.

3510. (Neh. vi. 5. With an open letter in his hand] Norden tells us, that a letter, dispatched by an Arab priuce to a master of a bark, was open. It seems however, not customary in Eastern countries so to send letters to people of distinction. Pococke gives us the figure of a Turkish letter, put into a satin bag, to be sent to a great man, with a paper tied to it directed and sealed, and an ivory button tied on the wax. And Lady Montague says, the bassa of Belgrade's answer to the English Ambassador going to Constantinople was brought him in a purse of scarlet satin. Nehemiah then, as he was a person of distinction at the Persian court and governor of Judea, had reason to expect Sanballat's letter in a handsome bag. Its not being so sent intimated, that Sanballat, so far from acknowledging Nehemiah in his assumed royal dignity, should not even pay him the compliment due to any person of distinction.

Bib. Research. vol. i. p. 175.

See Harmer, vol. ii. p. 129.

3514. [Neh. X. 34.] Josephus speaks of a feast called Xulophoria (Grk.), when it was customary for all to bring wood to the altar, to keep the sacred fire unextinguished,

De Bello Jud. I. ii. c. 17. & 6.

3515. (

-36. The firstborn of our sons, &c.] - To be redeemed, according to the law of Moses. See Exod. xjii. 13, 16. xxxiv. 20.

3511. [Neh. vii. 64.] Among the Chinese a tablet of ancestry is in every house: and references in conversation are often made to their actions.

MACARTNEY's Embassy, p. 295.

3616. [Neh. xii. 22.] The mention here made of Jonathan (or Johanan) and Jaddua, as high-priests; and also of the reign of Darius the Persian, must necessarily have been added by some person after the time of Nehemiah, probably by Simon the Just; as it is incredible to suppose that Nehemiah should live to the reign of Darius Codomannus the last Persian emperor, in whose reign Jaddua was high-priest.

WELL’s Continuation of the Jewish Hist.

p. 85. inserted after Esther in vol, ij, of his Bible.

3512. [Neh. viii. 15.] There are three remarkable trees opposite Poppamow, called by the natives Valattee-Emlee, or Europe tamarind, the Adansonia of Linneus; the centre one measures thirty-two feet six inches round the trunk, the tree on the left nearly an inch more, and the other not quite thirty feet. They grow within fifty yards of the Ganges; and about three hundred yards distant is another of still larger circumference. The branches of these celebrated trees rise from the trunks by a large base, disproportioved to their general bulk. The fruit, says Forbes, was extremely small when I saw it, and covered with a down of light green like velvet; it ripens in February: the fruit is then of the size of a cocoa-nut, containing a white pulp, abounding with red seeds. The Brahmins spoke highly of this (ruit, thinking it extremely delicious, and the acid peculiarly grateful.

Oriental Memoirs, vol. iv. p. 84. The camphire-trees, probably meant here, are of such a stupendous height, that some of them shoot up more than 300 feet; their thickness' also is so exorbitant,' that 20 men are often required to embrace the trunk. The branches spread a considerable way; and the wood, which is very hard and durable, is of singular use for the construction of large ships, as well as for other more curious pieces of joinery, by reason of the beauty and glossiness of its surface, and the great variety of ils veins. Their texture is so tenacious and close, that it

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »