Page images
PDF
EPUB

pushed his conquests as far as the Pillars.” Strabo, lib. xv, p. 687. As he is cited by Eusebius, from Abydemus, he says, that “ Nebuchadnezzar, more valiant than Hercules, led his armies as far as Libya and Iberia; and having subdued these countries, settled a portion of the people on the right of the Euxine.” Euseb. Præp. lib. ix, p. 267. R. Steph. Sir John Marsham indeed understands this Iberia to be the country of that name near the Caspian, and the Pillars to be the pillars which Alexander the Great erected in Sarmatia.* But the Iberia mentioned in connexion with Libya could be no other Iberia than Spain; and the Pillars mentioned in connection with Hercules could be no other than the Pillars of Hercules. And this is further evident from the general purport of the passage of Megasthenes, in which this mention of Nebuchadnezzar's conquests occurs; which, as it appears from Strabo, was to prove that conquest had been pushed to a much greater extent westward than towards the east. Nebuchadnezzar's conquests are given as an instance of distant conquests westward; whereas the conquest of the Asiatic Iberia by a Babylonian had been ra

* Vide Can, Chron. ad Sæc. 18, tit. Nabo-col-assams Rex.

ther an instance of conquest toward the north. I hold it certain therefore that Nebuchadnezzar's conquests, by the testimony of Megasthenes, extended to the western coasts of Spain, and that his conquests there are alluded to by the prophet in this, and again in the 12th verse, but with another refer. ence there, to greater things and more remote.

Bishop Stoek’s conjecture, that the Tarshish of this verse is neither Tarsus in Cilicia, nor Tartessus in Spain, but a city on the Persian Gulph, of which, as the mother-city of the Sidonians, Tyre might properly be called the daughter, is very plausible.

Verse 11. « To destroy her fortresses.” The for tresses of Canaan ; not only the towns within the land of Canaan itself, but the distant colonies of the Canaanites.

Verse 12. there also thou shalt have no rest." 56 Texit propheta velo paucorum verborum evena tus maximorum motuum et calamitatum bellicarum, quas Siculi, Sardi, Corcyræi, Carthaginienses, et Hi. spani tandem, inter quos populos Tyrii profugi sedem figerent, cum tempore experirentur. Sicilia, et occiduæ maris Mediterranei insulæ, quæ se valde ostentarunt sub imperio Persico, varios jam subierant casus, lætos, tristes, quando tandem Carthagi. nienses se miscere coeperunt rebus Siciliæ Ol. xcii, an. 3°. Inde inter utrumque populum funestissima bella ; et Siciliæ tyrannides ; et causâ Siciliæ Romani mixti Carthaginiensibus, natumque est primum bellum Punicum, difficillimum et gravissimum ; quod excepit secundum, calamitate translatâ in Hispaniam; et tertio denique excisa est Carthago, Tyrus altera ; quam oraculi antiqui adversus Canaanis posteros per Noachum editi, et horum vaticiniorum Jesaiæ et Ezechielis de Tyro fulmina percusserunt, et tandem everterunt, ut filiæ eadem sors esset, quæ matris. Imo ne nova quidem Carthago, Hispaniensis, Carthaginis Africanæ et Tyri soboles, hanc calamitatem evasit, a Scipione vi expugnata. Atqui hæ ipsissimæ illæ regiones sunt, ad quas fugerent Tyrii, de quibus vates, illos ne ibi quidem quiete acturos esse.” Vitringa ad locum, vol. i, p. 703, c. 1.

Verse 13. “ This people was not;" i.e. this people, the subject of this discourse; this Tyrian people.

_" An Assyrian founded it.” That the Pheni- . cians, the founders of Sidon and Tyre, were a colony from Idumea, is now so generally allowed by the learned, that the proof of it is unnecessary. See Gesner de Phænicum extra Columnas Herculis Navigationibus, Prælect. i, § 2. Idumea was one of the many regions enumerated by Strabo, as compos- . ing the extent of that vast country which went under the general name of Assyria. It is probable therefore, that the first founders of the Phenician state, of which Sidon first, afterwards Tyre, was the metropolis, were an Assyrian race. It is remarkable, that Justin, speaking of the original of Tyre, says, “ the Tyrian nation was founded by Phenicians, who, leaving their own country on account of an earthquake, settled first upon the Assyrian Lake (Assyrium stagnum), in a little while upon the seashore.” Justin, xviii, 3. By the Assyrian Lake, Gesner understands the Lake of Tiberias. But whence should this get the name of the Assyrian Lake, unless it was that the first that settled in the adjacent country were Assyrians?

Servius indirectly mentions this Assyrian extraction of the Tyrians. Upon these words of Virgil,

-Series longissima rerum, Per tot ducta viros primâ aborigine gentis, (Æn. i, 645) he has this note: _“A Belo primo Assyriorum regeusque ad Belum patrem Didonis.” In which he evidently refers the origin of Dido's family to the Assyrian Belus.

Again he mentions the Assyrian Belus as the first

owner of the golden cup in which Dido makes her libation :

Hic regina gravem gemmis auroque poposcit
Implevitque mero pateram; quam Belus, et omnes
A Belo soliti.

Æn. i, 732. “ Belus (says Servius) primus Assyriorum rex.'

"Down with her stately palaces.” Compare Psalm cxxxvii, 7.

_" she is appointed to destruction;" literally, “[He] hath appointed her to destruction.” Thať is, either Jehovah hath appointed her, or the Assyrian hath appointed her. Babylonia was comprehended under the general name of Assyria. Or perhaps it is to be said that a verb in Kal or Hiphil in the third person, without a nominative, is to be rendered by a verb passive, with the object of the verb active for its nominative; and that in the Hebrew language, the passive of verbs that have no Niphal is properly expressed by the active verb without a nominative, having for its object what should be the subject of the passive verb.

In whatever way this last clause is expounded, the whole verse intimates darkly, because in the abrupt ecstatic style, that Tyre is to be destroyed by the same race to which she owed her origin.

« PreviousContinue »