Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

•'And whereas theking"saw a watcher, and an holy one eomingidown' from heaven, •ahdsayingytHew the tsreeidmvn, arid destroy it, yet leave'the stump of the roots'thereof in the enrth, even witha bairid df iron and brass in the tender grass of the field, arid let it be wet with the-dew of heaven, .and^eb his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him:

This is the interpretation, O king, and this is .the decree of the most High, which is come upon my ldrd the king: that they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be'witH-trie;beastS of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever, he will.

And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree-roots: thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.

Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins 'by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor: if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.

All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.

At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the king of Babylon.

The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the riright of my power, arid for the honour of my majesty?

While the word was in the king's mouth, there fejl a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken, The kingdom is departed from thee.

And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make ; thee thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pa over thee,' until thou know that i the .most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and. giveth it torv'

[ocr errors]
[graphic]

How wonderful were the dispensations of Divine Providence towards this famous monarch, who, in the power of the Supreme Governor, unknowingly, went forth to punish those nations who had filled up the measure of their iniquity!

This section is particularly calculated to suppress the pride of princes, by teaching them that their being exalted over their fellow-creatures is no invariable sign that they are the peculiar favourites of heaven, or possessed of extraordinary worth; for sometimes the Most High setteth up the basest of mankind, especially when he means to employ them as scourges to wicked nations.

It likewise contains an excellent admonition to such princes as have provoked Divine justice by the enormity of their own conduct. The most effectual mea-'; sure they can pursue, in order to prolong their tranquillity, is to break off' their sins by righteousness, and their iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor. .'

How it came about, that Nebuchadnezzar did not apply first to Daniel, is uncertain; but we may suppose the prophet was absent from Babylon at that time, and the king imagined the magicians could interpret for him, as he was able to relate' the dream to them. Daniel's exposition is very easy to be understood: by the. watcher, or holy one, is supposed to be meant an angel. Nebuchadnezzar is thought to have been seized with sudden distraction of mind; and during its continuance to have been in a most deplorable state, unfit for the society or converse of mankind, and levelled with the beasts who have no understanding. Whether he actually eat grass, or was restrained to a vegetable diet, is uncertain; but, from the scripture account of the extraordinary growth of his hair and nails, it is likely that he wandered from home in desert places till his reason was restored; at which time he is supposed to have returned turned to his kingdom, when his son, who had governed

in his stead, resigned the throne to him, and his no'bles gladly received him again, as he was honoured and respected by them. Nebuchadnezzar is said to have lived a year afterwards: he reigned between forty-three and forty-four years. . ..

From Nebuchadnezzar's own words we may conclude, that he at length became a convert to the Lord, the only true Gob. Various means had been employed to engage him to leave his idolatrous practices, and they proved at last effectual: he had, therefore, reason to bless the Lord for his humiliation, as in all probability it proved the means of saving his soul from perdition.

On the death of Nebuchadnezzar, Evil-merodach, his son, succeeded to the kingdom of Babylon.' • '•'• • .

SECTION LI.

THE KINDNESS OF EVIL-MERODACH TO JEHOIACHIN KING OF JUDAH.

From 2 Kings, Chap. xxvi.

And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison;

And he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon;

And changed his prison garments; and he did eat bread continually before him all the days of his life.

And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.

ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS. Whether this reverse of fortune in the Jewish monarch was sent as a reward for his penitence we are not 14' told; tpid,; lurt it js,agreeabletor the usual .^ispeatotibns of Providence tcsuppose this was the case. Nothing far-/ ther is said of Jehoiachin by the sacred'historian, but it. is imagined that.ha died soon after. ... .., ,.'•

Upon the death of Jehoiachin, Salathiel his son became the nominal prince of the Jews in his stead; for, after thenar of their authority, they .still kept Tip the title; and far a great many years there was.always one' of the house of David, who was honoured and acknotcledgedas a prince, under the name ofthe head of the captivity:. They had some kind of jurisdiction consistent with the government they were under, which was sometimes,ratified and confirmed by the kings of that coun

tBy»,tbui.•'.'tv.'' -,-''• '"-'

When Evil-merodach had reigned two years in Babylon, his crimes made him so hateful, that at length eve,n bis ,ow:n relations conspired,.'against him, and put him to death. Neriglissar, his sister's husband, who was at the head of this conspiracy, reigned in his stead.

tfy^same year that Evil-merodach was slain, died Astyages: king of Media. He was. succeeded, by hia sonDarius,, whp.divided hk authority. wi,th Qyr,Us.nthfeson. of. Cambyses,king of Persia* and Mandaoek the dawghte^.pf ^.styage^i Cyrus at this timajwaa forty.yeatrg.of, age, and Darius was forgone. This prince is called in pjofane his,tpxy, Cyaxares,,;,. * •••• I.-./.

Neriglissar, ;king of Babylon,, on. his coming, to thet taawu^. made, great, preparations fwM a war . with, the Medes,.. .D«his, gaining intelligence of, this,, sent.for. Cyrus 0.^,0^. Persia,tp,his assistancej;ai^,:.on,;hi8,arriVfljLwith thirty. tb, ousajid Persians,, Darius, made him ger ne'ral of the Medes, and sent liim with the joint fotces, of both nations to mak(e(wa.x;,again6jt•N^riglisfla^. From this time Qyrvft was.reckoned. king oyer bot^, nations, though he was in. reality no.morethan commander ux chief of the confederate army under the king of Media j

but.

« ZurückWeiter »