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c. 2, Diodorus, l. xvii.) It, however, speedily recovered its strength and dignity, and 19 years afterwards withstood both the fleets and armies of Antigonus. Agreeably to the prophetic declarations (Ps. 45. 12. 72. 10. Is. 23. 18. Zec. 9. 1-7.) it was early converted to Christianity; and after being successively taken by the Saracens, Christians, Mamalukes, and Turks, in whose hands it still remains, it had become, when visited by Maundrell, Bruce, and other travellers, literally a place for fishers to dry their nets on.' Ezek. 26. 14.*
(10.) SIDON, or Zidon. "Son of man set thy face against Zidon, and prophesy against it, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold I am against thee, O Zidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of thee: and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her. For I will send into her pestilence, and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall be judged in the midst of her by the sword upon her on every side; and they shall know that I am the Lord." Ezek, 28. 21-23. Sidon was a celebrated city of Phoenicia, now Saidè, situated in a fine country on the Mediterranean, 400 stadia from Berytus, and 200 (north) from Tyre, according to Strabo, (1. xvi.) one day's journey from Paneas, according to Josephus, (Ant. l. v. c. 3.) and 66 miles from Damascus, according to Abulfeda.† Tyre was a colony of the Zidonians, for the prophet Isaiah (ch. 23. 12.) addresses her as "the daughter of Zidon," and the 'Sidonians,' says Justin, (l. xviii. c. 3.)' when their city was taken by the king of Ascalon, betook themselves to their ships; and landed and built Tyre.' Sidon was therefore the mother city, and a more ancient, though a less considerable city than Tyre; and it is probable that it was taken by the Chaldeans soon after the destruction of the latter. It was afterwards burnt to the ground by the inhabitants, to prevent it falling into the hands of Ochus. See Prideaux, an. 351. §
(11.) EGYPT. The Egyptians, or Mizrim, were descendants of Mizraim, the son of Ham, (Gen. x. 6, 13.) Their country, which is situated between 24° and 32° N. lat. and 30° and 33° E. long., lay on the N. E. of Africa, west of the Red sea, and s. w. of Canaan, being bounded on the south by Ethiopia, on the north by the Mediteranean, on the east by the mountains of Arabia, and on the west by those of Lybia, is about 750 miles in length from north to south, being one long vale, till where the Nile, which runs through the middle of it, is divided into several streams, and empties itself into the Mediterranean; in breadth from one to two or three days' journey, and even at the widest part of the Delta, from Pelusium to Alexandria, not above 250 miles broad. || It is extremely fertile in consequence of the annual overflowing of the Nile; and is said to have contained 20,000 cities, the principal of which were, No, Zoan, On or Heliopolis, Noph or Memphis, Migdol, Pithom, Rameses, and Tah
• Comprehensive Bible, Note on Ezek. 26. 3, 14.
+ Idem, Note on Judg. 1.31.
panhes. Not long after the dispersion from Babel, their monarchy was founded by Mizraim; which, according to the calculations of Constance Mannasses, continued 1663 years, till the conquest of Egypt by Cambyses, B. C. 525. Their kings usually had the surname of Pharaoh, under one of whom, Joseph by his prudence, saved the nation from the terrible effects of a famine of seven years' duration. (Gen. xl.-xlvii.) Their cruel oppression of the Israelites, drew upon them ten fearful plagues; and, at last, their first-born were slain one night, and their army drowned in the Red sea. (Exod. i.-xiv.) From this period, no intercourse subsisted between the Egyptians and Israelites till the reign of Solomon, who having married a daughter of Pharaoh, established a considerable trade between the two countries. (1 Kings iii. 1. vii. 8.) In the reign of Rehoboam, the son and successor of Solomon, Shishak, who it seems first united Egypt under one king and widely extended his empire in Asia and Africa, invaded the kingdom of Judah, and despoiled the temple of its treasures. (1 Kings xiv. 25-28. 1 Ch. xii. 1-9.) In his absence his brother rebelled; and after his death, his large empire fell in pieces, and Egypt itself bent under the Ethiopians. Provoked with their attempts to assist the Jews, the Assyrians under Sennacherib invaded Egypt about B. C. 712, and ravaged the country for three years. (Na, iii. 8-10.) Two years previously (B. C. 714.) Isaiah by the mouth of the Lord declared, (ch. 19. 2, 3.) “And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof." This is a prophecy of what took place in Egypt about twenty-two years after the destruction of Sennacherib's army, when upon the death of Tirhakah, (B. C. 688.), not being able to settle about the succession, they continued for two years in a state of anarchy, confusion and civil wars; which was followed by the tyranny of twelve princes, who, seizing on, divided the country among them, and governed it for fifteen years; and at last, by the sole dominion of Psammiticus, who having conquered his competitors, ascended the throne, and which he held for fifty-four years. (Herodotus, 1. ii. Diodorus, l. i.)* Notwithstanding all his efforts to restore the power and felicity of the nation, his wars with the Assyrians in Palestine, and his provoking 200,000 of his troops to retire into Ethiopia, greatly weakened the country. (Is. xviii.— xx.) About B. C. 610, Pharaoh-necho his son attempted to extend his power on the ruins of the Assyrian empire, and took Carchemish on the Euphrates, and rendered the Jewish nation tributary. But Nebuchadnezzar, B. C. 606, defeated his army, retook Carchemish, and pursued the Egyptians to the frontiers of their country. Pharaoh Hophra, or Apries, as he is called by Herodotus, (1. ii. c. 161.) having succeeded his father Psammis on the throne of Egypt, A. M. 3410. B. C. 594, reigned twen
• Comprehensive Bible, Note in loco.
ty-five years. Having entered into a confederacy with Zedekiah, (Eze. 17. 15.) he marched out of Egypt with a great army to his relief; which caused Nebuchadnezzar to raise the siege of Jerusalem to meet him. The Egyptians, on the approach of the Chaldeans, not daring to engage in battle with so numerous and well appointed an army, retired into their own country; treacherously leaving Zedekiah and his people to perish in the war into which they had drawn them; for which cause, the prophet Ezekiel, (ch. xxix.) reproaching them for their perfidy, denounces against them the judgments of God.* ch. xviii. 2-4. "Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt: Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself. But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales," &c. Herodotus (l. ii. c. 169.) informs us, that Hophra, or Apries, agreeably to the character given him by the prophet, proudly and wickedly boasted of having established his kingdom so surely, that it was not in the power of any God to dispossess him of it.† But God abaseth the proud. The subjects of Pharaoh-hophra having rebelled on the destruction of the army which he sent into Lydia against the Cyrenians, he sent Amasis one of his officers, to reduce them to their duty. But while he was addressing them, they placed the ensigns of royalty on his head, and proclaimed him king. Amasis accepted the title, and confirmed the Egyptians in their revolt; and the greater part of the nation declaring for him, (chiefly in consequence of the cruelty of Apries to Paterbemis another officer, who had been sent to arrest Amasis, which he was not able to effect,) he was obliged to retire into Upper Egypt, where he maintained himself for some years. The country being thus weakened by intestine war, was attacked and easily overcome by Nebuchadnezzar, in revenge for their having attempted to assist the Jews and Tyrians, B. C, 572: and having slain an immense number of the inhabitants, and driven others out of the land, burnt their cities, and taken a prodigious booty, he returned to Babylon, leaving Amasis his viceroy. After his departure, Apries marched against Amasis; and being defeated at Memphis, he was taken prisoner, carried to Sais, and strangled in his own palace, thus verifying the prophecy of Jeremiah, (ch. 44. 30.) "Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will give Pharaoh-hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life; as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, his enemy, and that sought his life."+
Thus also were accomplished the prophecies of Ezekiel against this wicked prince and people, (ch. 30. 21-24.) "Son of man, I have
broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword. Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and will break his arms, the strong, and that which was broken; and I will cause the sword to fall out of his hand. And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand: but I will break Pharaoh's arms, and he shall groan before him with the groanings of a deadly wounded man." When the king of Babylon took from the king of Egypt, in the days of Pharaoh-necho, all his dominions in Asia, one of his arms was broken. God now declared that he should never recover these territories, or gain any ascendancy in that part of the world; nay, that his other arm, which was now strong should soon be broken, and rendered utterly useless. This was fulfilled when Hophra was dethroned and driven into Upper Egypt by Amasis; and when Nebuchadnezzar invaded and conquered that kingdom, and enslaved, dispersed, and carried captive the Egyptians. We learn from Berosus (apud Josephus, l. ix. c. 11. § 1.) that Nebuchadnezzar sent several captive Egyptians to Babylon; and from Megasthenes (apud Euseb. Præp. Evang. l. ix. c. 41.) that he transplanted others to Pontus; and it is probable, that at the dissolution of the Babylonian empire, about forty years after, (during which time this once populous country had continued almost utterly desolate,) Cyrus permitted them to return to their native country, agreeably to the prophecy of Ezekiel, (ch. 29. 12, 13.)* "And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. Yet thus saith the Lord God; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered." The Chaldean empire being dissolved, the Egyptians under Amasis attempted to recover their freedom; but Cyrus marching his troops into their country, obliged them to acknowledge his authority. After his death they again revolted from the Persian yoke; but Cambyses invaded and dreadfully ravaged their country, and wholly subdued them, B. C. 525. They again, B. C. 487, shook off the Persian yoke; but were subdued by Xerxes, who rendered their bondage more grievous. Instigated by Inarus, king of Libya, whom they had acknowledged their sovereign, they again revolted, B. C. 454; but were reduced by Artaxerxes Longimanus, after a dreadful war of six years. About B. C. 413, Amyrtæus, who had some time reigned in the fen country, attacked the Persian garrison with fury, and drove them completely out of Egypt. After the Egyptians had struggled with the Persians for liberty about sixty years, a furious intestine war between Nectanebus and a Mendesian prince, exhausted their strength; when Artax
• Comprehensive Bible, Note in loco..
erxes Ochus, taking advantage of it, invaded and ransacked their country, and made it a Persian province, B. C. 350. Thus, "were they given over into the hands of cruel lords," (Isa. 21. 4.) Nebuchadnezzar who first conquered and ravaged Egypt, and then, not only his successors, but Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, and the whole succession of Persian kings till the time of Alexander, who were in general hard masters, and grievously oppressed the country. When Alexander the Great marched into Egypt, B. C. 332, the Egyptians, weary of the Persian yoke, readily submitted to him as their powerful deliverer. For about 323 years after this they were governed by the Grecian Ptolemies, under four or five of whom their country bade fair to recover its ancient splendour. Agreeably to the prophecy of Isaiah, (ch. 19. 18—25,) the knowledge of the true God was disseminated in Egypt under the successors of Alexander; and an early reception given to the gospel in the same country. The Romans next annexed it to their dominions in the form of a province, A. D. 30; and in A. D. 640, the Saracens, under Omar, conquered it, and established the Mohammedan delusion, which has obtained there ever since. About A. D. 970, the Moslem caliph of Cyrene wrested it from the caliph of Bagdad; and he and his descendants governed it 200 years. About 1171, Saladin the Curd craftily seized it; and he and his posterity governed it for eighty years. It was next ruled by the Mamalouks, or slave usurpers, for 275 years; and in 1525, it was annexed to the Ottoman empire, of which it still forms a part, being governed by a pasha and twenty-four begs or chiefs. Thus has Egypt been the basest of kingdoms,' and has not been governed by a prince of the land of Egypt' for upwards of 2000 years. (Jer. 25. 46. Ezek. 29. 32.) Having been successively under the dominion of the Babylonians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Saracens, Mamaluke slaves, and Turks, to whom it remains in most abject servitude to this day, it has thus continued a most base, or tributary kingdom. See Bp. Newton.t
(12.) The MOABITES and AMMONITES, who were the descendants of the incestuous offspring of Lot. (Gen. 19. 30--38.) The former dwelt on the East of the Dead sea, northward of the Midianites, and along the banks of the river Arnon, in a tract of country whence they had expelled the Emim, a gigantic aboriginal race, who were of the offspring of Ham. (De. 2. 11, 12.) The Ammonites had their residence north-east of the Moabites, and east of the Reubenites and Gadites, in the territory of which Rabbah was the capital, and which they had wrested from the gigantic Zamzummim, another part of the descendants of Ham. (De. 2. 18-22; 3. 11.) They were violently hostile to the Israelites, whom they terribly oppressed at various times; but, after being successively conquered by Ehud, (Ju. 3. 13—20.) Jephthah, (Ju. x. xi.) and Saul, (1 Sam. xi.) they were wholly subdued by David. (2 Sam. x...xii. 1 Ch. xviii...xx.) For about 150 years they continued subject to the Israelites;
• Comprehensive Bible, Note in loco. + Idem, Note on Ezek. 29. 15, & Introd. pp. 93, 94.