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THE work, of which the greater portion of the following pages forms a translation, must be considered as one of the most interesting and valuable accessions to archaiological literature, that have recently issued from the continental press. It presents to us ample living evidence of the fulfilment of prophecies delivered nearly three thousand years ago, and at the same time discloses to our view scenes, ruins, manners, costume, still almost wholly scriptural in their character. Idumea, to which, from the rocky nature of its territory, later ages have given the name of Arabia Petræa, was the cradle of the primitive generations of mankind. There the sciences and arts were first cultivated; —there great commercial enterprises were carried on
with success, before the merchants of Tyre or Sidon had emerged from the rank of fisherthere the true God was known and worshipped, and the creations of his hand were appreciated, and described in language that has not yet been rivalled, at a period when the Jews were in bondage, and idolatry and ignorance reigned in every other part of the peopled regions of the earth. But upon that once favoured land a malediction of the most awful description was pronounced: from the height of worldly prosperity it was doomed to fall into the most abject state of wretchedness and desolation,— of desolation from which it is never to revive.
As far as we can collect from the sacred text, the nature of the crimes which had called down from the Omnipotent this peculiar and unalterable expression of his anger, they would seem to resolve themselves into numerous acts of treachery and hostility, which the Idumeans, or the Edomites, as they are indiscriminately called, had committed at different periods against the descendants of Jacob. The former, who were the posterity of Esau, by acting on many occa