Page images

acknowledge that they land and sea,



6 And thou shalt go against all the
4 Holofernes is appointed general, 11 and west country, because they disobeyed

charged to spare none that will not yield. my commandment.
15 His army and provision. 23 The 7 And thou shalt declare unto
places which he won and wasted as he went. them, that they prepare for me || earth After the
two and twentieth day of the wrath against them, and will cover whom earth

the bien
first month, there was talk in the the whole face of the earth with the and water.
house of Nabuchodonosor king of the feet of mine army, and I will give be given, to
Assyrians, that he should, as he said, them for a spoil unto them:
avenge himself on all the earth.

8 So that their slain shall fill their were lords of 2 So he called unto him all his valleys and brooks, and the river shall Herodotus. officers, and all his nobles, and com- be filled with their dead, till it over

municated with them his secret coun- flow: a 1 Sam. 20. sel, and a concluded the afflicting of 9 And I will lead them captives to

the whole earth out of his own mouth. the utmost parts of all the earth.

3 Then they decreed to destroy all 10 Thou therefore shalt go forth, flesh, that did not obey the command and take beforehand for me all their ment of his mouth.

coasts : and if they will yield them4 And when he had ended his selves unto thee, thou shalt reserve counsel, Nabuchodonosor king of the them for me till the day of their pu

Assyrians called Holofernes the chief nishment. + Gr. second captain of his army, which was t next 11 But concerning them that re

unto him, and said unto him, bel, let not thine eye spare them; but

5 Thus saith the great king, the put them to the slaughter, and spoil
lord of the whole earth, Behold, thou them wheresoever thou goest.
shalt go forth from my presence, and

12 For as I live, and by the power
take with thee men that trust in their of my kingdom, whatsoever I have
own strength, of footmen an hundred spoken, that will I do by mine hand.
and twenty thousand; and the num- 13 And take thou heed that thou
ber of horses with their riders twelve transgress none of the commandments

of thy lord, but accomplish them

7. & 25. 17.


Chap. II. ver. 1. And in the eighteenth year,] It is gin. Darius king of Persia, when he wished to make remarkable, that the dates in the Latin copies of this trial whether the Greeks would submit to him, sent book precede by five years those of the Greek, from heralds to all their cities to demand earth and water. which our translation is made. The Latin

copy men- It appears from this account, that the custom of making tions at chap. i. ver. 13, that the battle at Ragau took this demand was not peculiar to the Persians, but was place in the twelfth year of Nabuchodonosor ; and affirms common to other nations of the East. Arnald. that what is here related took place in the thirteenth, 11. let not thine eye spare them ;] A Hebrew er. instead of the eighteenth. Thus both agree in giving pression, meaning that no compassion should be shewn to the events of this second chapter a date subsequent them. Calmet. by one year to that of the battle. Arnald. The dates 12. whatsoever I have spoken, that will I do &c.] given in the Latin copy are probably the true dates. When we consult that Divine light which teaches us, Dean Prideaux.

that men can do nothing but as God shall please to enon all the earth.] This expression is of course able them, or shall allow to be done; one cannot help not to be taken literally, but to be considered as includ- being surprised at the vanity of the Assyrian prince, ing those people and nations only, who had refused to who, flushed with the conceit of his victory over Arobey his summons. The words “whole earth” or phaxad, and the advantages hitherto gained, resolves “world” often occur in this qualified sense. See par- upon the vast attempt of subduing the whole earth, as ticularly Luke ii. 1. Arnald.

if his power was invincible, and his project, founded 4. -- called Holofernes] Some annotators are of opinion, either on pride, ambition, or resentment, could not fail that the word “ Holofernes ” is of Persian extract, in of success. From the secrecy and well concerted meathe same manner as Irsaphernes, Intophernes, &c. ; but sures of his expedition, and the number of forces ready others imagine, that this general was a native either of to engage in it, he assures himself of conquest, noe Pontus or Cappadocia. Polybius makes mention of one considering that success depends on God's good pleaof that name, who having conquered Cappadocia, soon sure, who often delights to defeat the unjust designs lost it again by endeavouring to change the ancient cus- and unwarrantable enterprises of such princes, who aim toms of the country, and to introduce drunkenness, toge- at establishing their own glory and greatness upon the ther with feasts and rites to Bacchus. Whereupon Casau- ruin of innocent and less powerful states. The event bon conjectures, that this was the same Holofernes that of this history in particular shews the vanity of such commanded Nebuchadnezzar's forces; and it must be presumptuous boasting, in defiance of the Most High; owned, that his riot and debauchery, as well as the rapidity and that even weak and inconsiderable means will have of his conquests, make him not unlike him. Arnald. the power, by God's appointment, to stop the career,

7. prepare for me earth and water :] See the mar- I and confound the pride of the mighty. Arnald.


fully, as I have commanded thee, and upon the river Arbonai, till ye come
defer not to do them.

to the sea.
14 Then Holoferness went forth 25 And he took the borders of
from the presence of his lord, and Cilicia, and killed all that resisted
called all the governors and captains, him, and came to the borders of Ja-
and the officers of the army of As- pheth, which were toward the south,

over against Arabia.
15 And he mustered the chosen 26 He compassed also all the chil-
men for the battle, as his lord had dren of Madian, and burned up their
commanded him, unto an hundred tabernacles, and spoiled their sheep-
and twenty thousand, and twelve cotes.
thousand archers on horseback;

27 Then he went down into the
16 And he ranged them, as a great plain of Damascus in the time of
army is ordered for the war.

wheat harvest, and burnt up all their
17 And he took camels and asses fields, and destroyed their flocks and
for their carriages, a very great num- herds, also he spoiled their cities, and
ber; and sheep and oxen and goats utterly wasted their countries, and
without number for their provision : smote all their young men with the

18 And plenty of victual for every edge of the sword.
man of the army, and very much gold 28 Therefore the fear and dread
and silver out of the king's house. of him fell upon all the inhabitants of

19 Then he went forth and all his the sea coasts, which were in Sidon
power to go before king Nabuchodo- and Tyrus, and them that dwelt in
nosor in the voyage, and to cover all Sur and Ocina, and all that dwelt in
the face of the earth westward with Jemnaan; and they that dwelt in
their chariots, and horsemen, and Azotus and Ascalon feared him
their chosen footmen.

20 A great number also of sundry

countries came with them like locusts,
and like the sand of the earth: for the 1 They of the sea coast entreat for peace. 7

Holofernes is received there : 8 yet he de-
multitude was without number.

stroyeth their gods, that they might worship 21 And they went forth of Nineve only Nabuchodonosor. 9 He cometh near three days' journey toward the plain

to Judea.

leth near the mountain which is at him to
the left hand of the upper Cilicia. 2 Behold, we the servants of Na-

22 Then he took all his army, his buchodonosor the great king lie before
footmen, and horsemen, and chariots, thee; use us as shall be good in thy
and went from thence into the hill sight.

3 Behold, our houses, and all our
23 And destroyed Phud and Lud, places, and all our fields of wheat, and
and spoiled all the children of Rasses, flocks, and herds, and all the lodges
and the children of Ismael, which of our tents, lie before thy face; use
were toward the wilderness at the them as it pleaseth thee.
south of the land of the Chellians. 4 Behold, even our cities and the

24 Then he went over Euphrates, inhabitants thereof are thy servants ;
and went through Mesopotamia, and come and deal with them as seemeth
destroyed all the high cities that were good unto thee.

of Bectileth, and pitched from Becti

: Shimho treat of peace, saying,


14. — the army of Assur ;] The army of Assyria. See writer of this book seems here to have connected places Gen. x. 11.

together without proper regard to their order and situa20. · like locusts,] See notes at Exod. x. 4, 15; Joel tion. Arnald. ii. 2.

24.— the river Arbonai,] Meaning perhaps the river 21. - the plain of Bectileth,] The situation of this Aboras or Chaboras, a well-known river which falls into place is wholly unknown. Calmet.

the Euphrates. Calmet. near the mountain which is &c.] It is probable that 25. the borders of Japheth,] Some have thought Taurus and Antitaurus are here meant, as these are large Japhia or Joppa to be here meant by Japheth. Calmet. mountains bordering on Cilicia. Arnald.

28. — Sur - Ocina, - Jemnaan; “Sur" or Syria : 23. — Phud and Lud,] Egypt and Lydia. Arnald. “ Ocina” is perhaps Accho or Ptolemais : “Jemnaan

Rasses,] The Latin copy gives Tharsis. Jamnia, (1 Macc. iv. 15,) or Jamnes, a maritime town the children of Ismael,] 'Or the Arabians. The l in Palestine. Calmet.



1 Or, Esdrelom.

Dotham, Junius. Gen. 37. 17. + Gr.great saw.


5 So the men came to Holofernes, buchodonosor king of the Assyrians
and declared unto him after this man- had done to the nations, and after

what manner he had spoiled all their 6 Then came he down toward the temples, and brought them to nought. sea coast, both he and his army, and

2 Therefore they were exceedingly
set garrisons in the high cities, and afraid of him, and were troubled for
took out of them chosen men for aid. Jerusalem, and for the temple of the

7 So they and all the country Lord their God :
round about received them with gar- 3 For they were newly returned
lands, with dances, and with timbrels. from the captivity, and all the people

8 Yet he did cast down their fron- || of Judea were lately gathered toge- Or, est if
tiers, and cut down their groves: for ther: and the vessels, and the altar,
he had decreed to destroy all the gods and the house, were sanctified after
of the land, that all nations should the profanation.
worship Nabuchodonosor only, and 4 Therefore they sent into all the
that all tongues and tribes should call coasts of Samaria, and the villages,
upon him as god.

and to Bethoron, and Belmen, and 9 Also he came over against || Es- Jericho, and to Choba, and Esora, || Or, Dotea, draelon near

unto || Judea, over and to the valley of Salem:
against the † great strait of Judea. 5 And possessed themselves be-

10 And he pitched between Geba forehand of all the tops of the high
and Scythopolis, and there he tarried mountains, and fortified the villages
a whole month, that he might gather that were in them, and laid up vic-
together all the carriages of his tuals for the provision of war: for

their fields were of late reaped.

6 Also Joacim the high priest, CHAP. IV.

which was in those days in Jerusalem, 2 The Jews are afraid of Holofernes, 5 and wrote to them that dwelt in Bethulia, fortify the hills

. 6 They of Bethulia take and Betomestham, which is over charge of the passages. 9 All Israel fall against || Esdraelon toward the || open ron, to fasting and prayer.

country, near to Dothaim,
NOW the children of Israel, that 7 Charging them to keep the pas-

dwelt in Judea, heard all that sages of the hill country: for by them

Holofernes the chief captain of Na- there was an entrance into Judea, Chap. III. ver. 8. — cut down their groves :] Where that the captivity here spoken of may be, not the great they used to sacrifice to idols. Arnald.

Babylonish captivity, but one which was slight in comthat all tongues and tribes should call upon him as parison, when Manasseh was carried captive to Babylon; god.] Observe of what folly and impiety the human at that time, what is here related of the country being heart is capable, when pride and ambition have obtain- desolate, the people dispersed, and the temple profaned, ed possession of it; and when prosperity has so blinded really happened ; and upon Manasseh's restoration to it as to make it forget itself. Calmet. 'l'he insolence of his kingdom, through God's blessing upon his exeinaffecting Divine honours was common to many Assy-plary penitence, the temple was purified, and the service rian princes, as appears from their histories ; nor was of the sanctuary restored to its ancient dignity, 2 Chron. this folly and impiety confined to them; Alexander the xxxiii. 12–14. Arnald. Great, and many of the Roman emperours, shewed a 4. — Belmen, - Choba, Esora,] “Belmen” is persimilar ambition of passing for gods. Arnald.

haps Abelmaim, in the tribe of Naphtali: “Choba” may 9.

- near unto Judea,] Rather, “ near unto Dothaia," be Cocheba, a village in Galilee, and “Esora” may be or Dothaim, a place to the north of Samaria, and south Hazor, a place in upper Galilee, Josh. xi. 1. Calmet. of Jezreel or Esdraelon. Calmet. See chap. iv. 6. 6.- Joacim the high priest,] Called Eliakim in the

the great strait of Judea.] “The great strait of Latin copies. Calmet. Judea” seems to be the chain of mountains which sepa-,

Bethulia,] It is evident from this text, and from rated the kingdom of Israel from that of Judah. It is chap. vii. 3, that this place was near to Dothaim, or known from the history, (1 Kings xv. 17; 2 Chron. xvi.1,) Dothan, and to Esdraelon, supposed to be Jezreel; that there were formerly forts in the defiles of these hence we may form a good conjecture at its situation. mountains, for the purpose of preventing the inhabitants Brocard says, that from the place, which was taken for of Israel from going to Judah and Jerusalem. Calmet. Bethulia when he travelled the Holy Land, to Tiberias 10. - Scythopolis,] See the note on 1 Macc. v. 52. on the sea of Galilee, was one league, and that the latter

lay to the south east of the former. Dr. Wells. They Chap. IV. ver. 3. For they were newly returned from pretend still to shew the remains of the encampment of the captivity,) This passage, together with that at chap. Holofernes, chap. vii. 3, near the place now supposed v. 18, 19, has led many to conclude, that the events here to be the ancient Bethulia. Calmet. related occurred subsequent to the Babylonish captivity. Betomestham,] Probably the same as BethsheIt should be observed, however, that this passage is en meth, or Betsames, which in the Syriack pronunciation tirely omitted in the Latin translation of this book; and would be Betomesta. Calmet.

1 Oi, plais.


| Or, governors.

servants bought with money, put Ternes, the chief captain of the



Apocrypha. and it was easy to stop them that the Lord, and they which ministered

would come up, because the passage unto the Lord, had their loins girt 1 Or, two

was strait, || for two men at the most. with sackcloth, and offered the daily against all.

8 And the children of Israel did burnt offerings, with the vows and
as Joacim the high priest had com- free gifts of the people.
manded them, with the || ancients of 15 And had ashes on their mitres,
all the people of Israel," which dwelt and cried unto the Lord with all their
at Jerusalem.

power, that he would look upon all
9 Then every man of Israel cried the house of Israel graciously,
to God with great fervency, and with

great vehemence did they humble
their souls:

5 Achior telleth Holofernes what the Jews
10 Both they, and their wives, and

are, 8 and what their God had done for

them ; 21 and adviseth not to meddle with their children, and their cattle, and them. 22 All that heard him were offended every stranger and hireling, and their at him.


THEN was it declared to Holosackcloth upon their loins.

11 Thus every man and woman, army of Assur, that the children of
and the little children, and the inha- Israel had prepared for war, and had
bitants of Jerusalem, fell before the shut up the passages of the hill coun-
temple, and cast ashes upon their try, and had fortified † all the tops of Gr. all the
heads, and spread out their sackcloth the high hills, and had laid impedi-
before the face of the Lord: also they ments in the champaign countries ;
put sackcloth about the altar,

2 Wherewith he was very angry,
12 And cried to the God of Israel and called all the princes of Moab,
all with one consent earnestly, that and the captains of Ammon, and all
he would not give their children for the governors of the sea coast,
a prey, and their wives for a spoil, 3 And he said unto them, Tell me
and the cities of their inheritance to now, ye sons of Chanaan, who this
destruction, and the sanctuary to pro- people is, that dwelleth in the hill
fanation and reproach, and for the country, and what are the cities that
nations to rejoice at.

they inhabit, and what is the multi-
13 So God heard their prayers, tude of their army, and wherein is
and looked upon their afflictions: for their power and strength, and what
the people fasted many days in all king is set over them, or captain of
Judea and Jerusalem before the sanc- their army;
tuary of the Lord Almighty,

4 And why have they determined
14 And Joacim the high priest, not to come and meet me, more than

and all the priests that stood before all the inhabitants of the west. 9. Then every man -cried to God &c.] We should altar, should “gird themselves, lament and how), and reflect upon the behaviour of the Israelites on this occa- lie all night in sackcloth,” Joel i. 13. Arnald. sion, who, while they used every precaution of defence against their enemies, still did not place their whole Chap. V. ver. 1. - had laid impediments in the chamconfidence in human policy and foresight; but, accord- paign countries :] Meaning, that they had laid stakes and ing to the direction of the high priest, had recourse to other sharp instruments in the ground, which it was prayer, humiliation, and fasting, for the purpose of the practice to employ in war for the purpose of retardobtaining that favour of God, which alone could ren- ing the progress of an enemy, by wounding the legs and der them invincible. And it was this profound humili- feet; on this account it was customary to wear on the ation before God, which alone could avail to oppose legs greaves of brass, 1 Sam, xvii. 6. Arnald. and subdue the pride and haughtiness of Holofernes. 3. - ye sons of Chanaan,) Holofernes, it appears, was Other nations had hastily submitted through the very but imperfectly acquainted with the origin of the Moabterrour of his name, but this people, providing better ites and Ammonites; they were not properly.“ sons of for their safety, humbled themselves in the sight of Chanaan," that name belonging to the Phenicians. God, and thereby obtained the help of His mighty Calmet. hand, and were enabled to triumph over their enemies. who this people is,] It seems impossible that Arnald.

Holofernes could have been really ignorant who the 14. -Joacim the high priest, &c. - had their loins girt Jews were ; but he must have wished to be informed rith sackcloth,] The high priest was forbidden by the accurately respecting their origin, character, the extent law to mourn for the death of his nearest kin, Lev. xxi. of their country, &c.; or perhaps his questions proceeded 10,11; but publick calamities, such as affected the very from affected ignorance, to shew in what contempt he being of the state, admitted of an exemption from the held this people. Calmet

, Arnald. ordinary rule. The Prophet Joel, in such a time of all the inhabitants of the west.] The inhabitants distress, exhorts that the priests, the ministers of the I who lay west with respect to the Assyrians.


a Chap. 6. 5. & 11.9.


bilder och ef Sira.

b Gen. 11. 31.


1. Or, went

out of.

[ocr errors]


5 Then said Achior, the captain 13 And ?God dried the Red sea i Exod. 14.
of all the sons of Ammon, Let my before them,
lord now hear a word from the mouth 14 And & brought them fto mount & Exod. 19. 1.
of thy servant, and I will declare unto Sina, and Cades-Barne, and cast forth way of the
thee the truth concerning this people, all that dwelt in the wilderness.
which dwelleth near 'thee, and inha- 15 So they dwelt in the land of
biteth the hill countries and there the Amorites, and they destroyed by
shall no lie come out of the mouth of their strength all them of Esebon,
thy servant.

and passing over Jordan they pos-
6 This people are descended of sessed all the hill country:
the Chaldeans :

16 h And they cast forth before · Joshua 12.
7 And they sojourned heretofore them the Chanaanite, the Pherezite,
in Mesopotamia, because they would the Jebusite, and the Sychemite, and
not follow the gods of their fathers, all the Gergesites, and they dwelt in
which were in the land of Chal- that country many days.

17 And whilst they sinned not 8 For they || left the way of their before their God, they prospered, beancestors, and worshipped the God cause the God that hateth iniquity of heaven, the God whom they knew: was with them. so they cast them out from the face 18 i But when they departed from Judges 2. of their gods, and they fled into Me- the way which he appointed them, sopotamia, and sojourned there many they were destroyed in many battles days.

very sore, kand were led captives 2 Kings 25. 9 Then their God commanded into a land that was not their's, and them to depart from the place where the temple of their God was cast to they sojourned, and to go into the the ground, and their cities were taken land of Chanaan : where they dwelt, by the enemies. and were increased with gold and sil- 19 But ' now are they returned to 1 Ezra 1. 1,5 ver, and with very much cattle. their God, and are come up from the

10 But when a famine covered all places where they were scattered, and the land of Chanaan, they went down have possessed Jerusalem, where into Egypt, and sojourned there, their sanctuary is, and || are seated or, hatt while they were nourished, and be in the hill country; for it was deso- ings. came there a great multitude, so that late. one could not number their nation. 20 Now therefore, my lord and

11 Therefore the king of Egypt governor, if there be any error in this rose up against them, and dealt sub-people, and they sin against their

tilly with them, and brought them God, let us consider that this shall be d Exod. 1. 8. low with labouring in a brick, and their ruin, and let us go up, and we made them slaves.

shall overcome them.
12 Then they cried unto their 21 But if there be no iniquity in
God, and he smote all the land of their nation, let my lord now pass by,
Egypt with incurable plagues: so the lest their Lord defend them, and their
• Egyptians cast them out of their God be for them, and we become a

reproach before all the world.


c Gen. 12. 1.

e Exod. 12. 31, 33,

6. — are descended of the Chaldeans :] As claiming by Achior, the general of the Ammonites, it appears how Abraham for their father, who was a Chaldean. Arnald. famous and how well known in those days was the dis. Respecting what follows, see the marginal references. tinguishing providence of God towards the Jewish na

16. - and the Sychemite,] Meaning the Hivites, to tion; and how certainly even strangers expected mercies whom the country about Sichem belonged. Calmet. and judgments upon them, according to their obedience

18. — and the temple was cast to the ground,] See the or disobedience to their God, the God of Israel, and acnote at chap. iv. 3. Allowing this to be meant of the cording to those ancient promises and threats, which events in the reign of Manasseh, it is not true that the had ever assured them of such conduct of the Almighty temple was then destroyed, but only profaned. See towards them. Whiston. 2 Kings xxi ; 2 Chron. xxxiii. But, as these words were 20. if there be any error] Any sin or transgression. spoken by a stranger, an Ammonite, he may have men- Arnald. This speech of Achior to Holofernes was framed tioned without grounds the actual destruction of the and grounded on the confessed observations of those temple, as Rabshakeh does, 2 Kings xviii

. 22, with times; and contained such advice as a faithful counregard to Hezekiah's taking away the altar of the Lord. sellor, well acquainted with the affairs of the Jews, should Arnald.

have given to his lord, who did not so well understand From the expressions here used respecting the Jews I them. Bp. Patrick.

« PreviousContinue »