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(ch. iii. 1—7.); shews that the desolation of No-Ammon, in Egypt, may lead her to expect similar destruction, (ver. 8—10.); and predicts her utter and final ruin, and the inefficacy of all methods to prevent it, (ver. 11 -19.) *
The Book of HABAKKUK consists of three chapters; in which the prophet indignantly complaining of the growth of iniquity among the Jews, (ch. i. 1-4.) God is introduced as denouncing his vengeance to be inflicted upon them by the Chaldeans, (ver. 5—11.); then, making a sudden transition, he humbly expostulates with God for punishing them by the instrumentality of the Chaldeans, (ver. 12—17. ch. ii. 1.); in answer to which complaint, God shews the certainty of the vision, and denounces the destruction of the Babylonian empire, with the judgments to be inflicted upon the Chaldeans for their ambition, cruelty, treachery, and idolatry, (ch. ii. 2—20.): the prophet then implores God to hasten the deliverance of his people, recounting the wonderful deliverances which God had vouchsafed to his people, in conducting them through the wilderness, and giving them possession of the promised land, (ch. iii. 1—15.); and, deeply affected with the approaching judgments, he yet resolves to rejoice in the mercy and goodness of God when all other comforts failed, (ver. 16—19.) † The Book of ZEPHANIAH consists of three chapters; in which the prophet denounces the wrath of God against Judah and Jerusalem for idolatry and apostacy; predicts terrible judgments coming upon sinners of different descriptions, (ch. i.); exhorts them to repentance, as the only mean to avert the divine vengeance, (ch. ii. 1—3.); prophesies against the Philistines, (ver. 4-7.); Moabites and Ammonites, (ver. 8-11.); Ethiopians, (v. 12.) and Assyrians, (ver. 13-15.); sharply rebukes Jerusalem for various aggravated sins, (ch. iii. 1—7.); and predicts their future restoration, and the ultimate prosperous state of the church in the days of the Messiah, (ver. 8—20.) ‡
In the Book of HAGGAI the prophet reproves the delay of the Jews in building the temple, and exhorts them to proceed, (ch. i. 1—11.); they obey the prophet's message, and receive encouragement from God, (ver. 12-15.); the prophet comforts the old men, who wept at the diminished magnificence of the second temple, by assuring them that its glory should be greater than that of the first by the presence of the Messiah, (ch. ii. 1. -9.); he shews that their sins had deprived them of God's blessing, and promises them fruitful harvests from that day forward, (ver. 10—19.); and predicts the prosperity of the Messiah's kingdom, under that of Zerubbabel, his ancestor and type, (ver. 20-23.) §
The book of ZECHARIAH consists of fourteen chapters; in which, after general warnings, and exhortations to repentance, he foretells the completion of the temple, (ch. i.); the rebuilding and prosperity of Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, (ch. ii. 1—5.); the judgments of God upon
*Comprehensive Bible, Introd. to Nahum.
+ Idem, Introd. to Habakkuk.
Babylon, from which he admonishes the Jews to depart previous to its destruction, (ver. 6-9.) promising them the Divine presence, (ver. 10-13.); under the vision of Joshua the high-priest arrayed in new sacerdotal attire, he predicts the restoration of the temple and its service, (ch. iii. 1-7.); whence, by an easy transition, he sets forth the glory of Christ as the chief corner stone of his church, (ver. 8-10.;) under the vision of the golden candlestick and two olive trees, he represents the success of Zerubbabel and Johua in rebuilding the temple, and restoring its service, (ch. iv.); by the vision of a flying roll and an ephah, he shews the judgments which would come on the wicked Jews, and the abject and oppressed state of the nation, after they had filled up the measure of their sins, (ch. v.); by the vision of four chariots drawn by several sorts of horses, and by two crowns placed on Joshua's head, he sets forth primarily the re-establishment of the civil and religious polity of the Jews under Zerubbabel and Joshua, and secondarily and principally, the high priesthood and kingdom of Christ, called emphatically the Branch, (ch. vii.); some Jews having been sent to Jerusalem from the exiles at Babylon, to inquire whether they were still bound to observe the fasts instituted on account of the destruction of that city, (ch. vii. 1—3.); the prophet is commanded to enforce upon them the weightier matters of the law, lest the same calamities befall them which were inflicted on their fathers, (ver. 4-14.), promising them, in the event of their obedience, the continuance of the favour of God, (ch. viii. 1-8.); encouraging them to go on with the building, (ver. 9—17.); and permitting them to discontinue the observance of those fasts, (ver. 18-23.): the prophet then predicts the intermediate events which should happen to the surrounding nations and to the Jews, from the completion of the temple till the coming of Christ, with figurative intimations of the prevalence of the Gospel by the triumphs of his apostles and servants, (ch. ix. x.); foretells the destruction of the temple and the rejection of the Jews for their rejection of Christ, and other sins, (ch. xi.); and predicts the preservation of Jerusalem against an invasion in the latter ages of the world, and the destruction of her enemies, (ch. xii. 1-9.); the conversion of the Jews to their crucified Messiah, (ver. 10-14. ch. xiii.); the destruction of Jerusalem, and the judgments inflicted on the unbelieving Jews; the preservation of a remnant, and their conversion; the ruin of the nations that fought against her; the final conversion of all nations, and the peace and prosperity of the church, (ch. xiv.)*
The Book of MALACHI consists of four chapters; in which the prophet reminds the Jews of the special favours which God had bestowed upon them, (ch. i. 1-5.); reproves them for not shewing due reverence to God, (ver. 6-10.); threatening their rejection, and announcing the calling of the Gentiles, (ver. 11.); denounces the Divine judgments both upon people and priests for their disrespect to God in their sacrifices,
• Comprehensive Bible, Introduction to Zechariah,
(12-14. ch. ii. 1-10.); and for their unlawful intermarriages with idolatresses, and for divorcing their legitimate wives, (ver. 11-17.); foretells the coming of Christ and his harbinger John the Baptist, to purify the sons of Levi, and to smite the land with a curse, unless they all repented; reproving them for withholding their tithes and other oblations, and also for blasphemy; predicting the reward of the good, and the punishment of the wicked, and enjoining the strict observance of the law, till the forerunner already promised should appear, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to introduce the Messiah, and commence a new and everlasting dispensation, (ch. iii. iv.)*
The Gospel of St. MATTHEW consists of twenty-eight chapters and 1071 verses; containing an account of the genealogy and birth of Christ, (ch. i.); the adoration of the Magi, the flight into Egypt, and the slaughter of the infants at Bethlehem, (ch. ii.); the preaching of John the Baptist and baptism of Christ, (ch. iii.); the temptation of Christ, the calling of Peter, Andrew, James, and John, and various miracles which Christ wrought, (ch. iv.); the sermon on the mount, (ch. v.-vii.); various miracles performed by Christ, and the calling of Matthew, (ch. viii. ix.) ; Christ's charge to the twelve apostles, sent to preach to the Jews, (ch. x.); the manner in which the discourses and actions of Christ were received by various descriptions of men, and the effect of his discourses and miracles, (ch. xi.-xvi. 12.); the discourses and actions of Christ immediately concerning his disciples, (ch. xvi. 13.-xx. 16.); the discourses and miracles of Christ in his way to Jerusalem, (ch. xx. 17-34.); his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and his expulsion of the money changers from the temple, (ch. xxi. 1—17.); the withering of the barren fig tree, and the confutation of the chief priests and elders, (ch. xxi.); the parable of the marriage feast, the confutation of the Pharisees and Sadducees, and Christ's lamentation over Jerusalem, (ch. xxii. xxiii.); Christ's prophetic discourse concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, and the end of the world, (ch. xxiv.); the parable of the ten virgins, the talents, and the last judgment, (ch. xxv.); Christ's prediction of his approaching crucifixion, (ch. xxvi. 1, 2.); the conspiracy of the chief priests against him, (ver. 3-5.); his anointing, by a woman at Bethany, (ver. 6—13.); the engagements of Judas to betray him, (ver. 14—16.); the preparation and celebration of the passover, 17-25.); the institution of the Lord's supper, (ver. 26-29.); Christ's prediction of the cowardice of his apostles, (ver. 30-35.); his agony in the garden, (ver. 36-46.); his apprehension, (ver. 47-56.): his condemnation and insulting treatment by Caiaphas, (ver. 57-68.); Peter's denial of Christ, and repentance, (ver. 69-75.); his condemnation by Pilate, crucifixion, and burial, (ch. xxvii.); his resurrection and appearances to his disciples, (ch. xxviii.)† The Gospel of MARK consists of sixteen chapters; containing an account of the ministry of John the Baptist, (ch. i. 1—8.); the baptism and
temptation of Christ, (ver. 9—13.); the calling of Simon and Andrew, James and John, (ver. 14—20.); the casting out of an unclean spirit by Christ, (ver. 21-28.); the healing of Peter's wife's mother, and many sick persons, (ver. 29-34.); the preaching of Christ in Galilee, and the eleansing of a leper, (ver. 35—45.); the cure of the paralytic, calling of Matthew, and vindication of the disciples, (ch. ii.); the healing of the man with the withered hand, and various others, the choice of twelve apostles, and the confutation of the scribes who ascribe Christ's casting out devils to the power of Beelzebub, (ch. iii.); the parables of the sower, the seed sown, and the grain of mustard seed, and the stilling of the tempest, (ch. iv.); the casting out of a legion of devils, healing the woman with an issue, and raising Jairus's daughter, (ch. v.); the sending out of the apostles, various opinions respecting Christ, the beheading of John the Baptist, the miraculous feeding of five thousand by Christ, his walking on the sea, and healing of the sick, (ch. vi.); Christ's vindication of his disciples for eating with unwashen hands, healing of the daughter of the Syro-Phoenician woman, and the man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, (ch. vii.); the miraculous feeding of four thousand, refusal of a sign, warning of his disciples of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod, giving sight to a blind man, predictions of his own sufferings, &c. (ch. viii.); the transfiguration of Christ, the casting out a deaf and dumb spirit, the foretelling of his death and resurrection, &c. (ch. ix.); the doctrine of Christ concerning divorces, his reception and blessing of young children, instruction of the rich young man, prediction of his sufferings, reproof of the ambition of his disciples, and healing of blind Bartimeus, (ch. x.); Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, cursing of the barren fig tree, expulsion of the traders from the temple, and silencing of the priests and scribes who questioned his authority, (ch. xi.); the parable of the vineyard let out to wicked husbandmen, the answer of Christ to the Pharisees and Herodians respecting giving tribute to Cæsar, to the Sadducees concerning the resurrection, and to a Scribe concerning the first commandment, his question respecting whose son the Messiah was to be, warning against the ostentation and hypocrisy of the scribes, and commendation of a poor widow, who cast two mites into the treasury, (ch. xii.); Christ's prediction of the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem, and the parable of the fig tree, (ch. xiii.); the conspiracy of the chief priests and Judas against Christ, his anointing by a woman, the preparation and celebration of the passover, institution of the Lord's supper, his agony in the garden, apprehension, condemnation by Caiaphas, and denial by Peter, (ch. xiv.); Christ's condemnation by Pilate, mocking by the soldiers, crucifixion between two thieves, death and burial, (ch. xv.); his resurrection from the dead, appearance to Mary Magdalene and the disciples, and ascension into heaven, (ch. xvi.)*
The Gospel of St. LUKE, which consists of twenty-four chapters, has
* Comprehensive Bible, Introduction to Mark.
been divided by critics into the five following classes or sections: Class I. comprehends the narrative of the birth of Christ, with the preceding, concomitant, and immediately succeeding circumstances, (ch. i. ii. 1—40.) Class II. comprises the particulars relative to our Lord's infancy and youth, (ch. ii. 41-52.) Class III. contains an account of the preaching of John the Baptist, and the baptism of Christ, whose genealogy is annexed, (ch. iii.) Class IV. includes an account of all our Lord's transactions, during the whole three years of his ministry; his temptation, (ch. iv. 1-13.); preaching at Nazareth, (ver. 14-30.); performance of many miracles, and preaching at Capernaum, (ver. 31-44.); calling of Peter, Andrew, James, and John, (ch. v. 1-11.); healing of a leper and paralytic, (ver. 12-26.); calling of Matthew, &c. (ver. 27-39.); justification of the disciples for plucking corn on the Sabbath, and healing of the withered hand, (ch. v. 1-11.); ordination of the twelve apostles, &c. (ver. 12-19.); repetition of the sermon on the mount, (ver. 20—49.); healing of the centurion's servant, and raising of the widow's son at Nain, (ch. vii. 1-17.); reply to the disciples of John the Baptist, and discourse concerning John, (ver. 18—35.); anointing by a woman in the house of Simon, (ver. 36—50.); preaching in Galilee, and parable of the sower, &c. (ch. viii. 1—21.); stilling of the tempest, expelling of a legion of devils, curing of an issue of blood, and raising of Jairus' daughter, (ver. 22—56.); sending forth of the apostles, miraculous feeding of five thousand men, transfiguration, expelling of a demon, and foretelling of his sufferings and death, (ch. ix. 1—50.) Class V. contains an account of our Lord's last journey to Jerusalem, and of every circumstance relative to his passion, death, resurrection, and ascension :—his journey through Samaria, (ch. ix. 51–62.); sending forth of the seventy disciples, and their return, &c. (ch. x. 1—37.); entertainment by Martha and Mary, (ver. 38-42.); teaching of his disciples to pray, reply to the Jews who ascribe his expulsion of demons to Beelzebub, to those who demand a sign, and reproval of the Pharisees, (ch. xi.); exhortation and warning of his disciples, and reproaching of the people for not knowing the signs of the times, (ch. xii.); parable of the fig tree; healing of an infirm woman on the Sabbath; parable of the grain of mustard seed, and of the leaven; his journey to Jerusalem, and lamentation over that impenitent city, (ch. xiii.); healing of a dropsical man on the Sabbath, and parable of the great supper, (ch. xiv.); parable of the lost sheep, lost piece of money, and prodigal son, (ch. xv.); parable of the unjust steward, admonition against avarice, hypocrisy, and reliance on the judgment of men, against divorces; parable of the rich man and Lazarus, (ch. xvi.); duty of not giving offence, the cure of ten lepers, and sudden coming of Christ, (ch. xvii.); the parable of the importunate widow, and of the Pharisee and publican, and encouragement of the people to bring little children to Jesus; foretelling of his death, and cure of a blind man