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The town was situated in the Pelusiac branch of the Nile, about five miles below the point of the ancient delta. It was deserted even in the time of Strabo, a little before the birth of Christ, and this geographer mentions its mounds of ruin; but the houses in which Eudoxus and Plato had studied were still shown to the Greek traveller. The place was famous for its learning and temple, rather than its extent; and as, after the accession of the Ptolemies, the schools of Alexandria supplied the place of its colleges, we need not wonder that no attempt was made to restore it from the desolations of the Babylonian and Persian kings. The form and size of the town may be judged from the remaining mounds of the wall of circuit; from these it would appear to have been of irregular shape, and in its extent not exceeding 3750 feet by 2870. The houses stood on the north side, covering a space of about 575,000 square feet, to the south of which stood the temple of the sun. There are no ruins of ancient buildings, unless the mounds be considered such; but there are many fragments of the materials employed in their construction, the greater part of which are of common calcareous stone, marble, and granite. The only entire monument is an obelisk-one of two mentioned by the ancients. It is of red granite, 70 feet high, and appears from its shape to have supported some ornamental device, probably of metal. From its high historical antiquity, this obelisk has received a large measure of curious attention from the learned. In the neighbouring villages there are many fragments of antiquity which have been evidently transported from Heliopolis. A village standing in the immediate neighbourhood bears the name of Matarieh, signifying "fresh water," taken from a spring of excellent water, supposed to be the same as "the fountain of the sun" of ancient times, and which indeed is still distinguished by that title, Ain Shems. See Description de l'Egypte' (Aut. Descript. ch. xxi); Wilkinson's 'Topography of Thebes;' Clarke's Travels,' &c.
"Pioeseth."-The Seventy regard this as the famous city of Bubastis, on the Pelusiac branch of the Nile; and their conclusion has, in this instance, been generally admitted. Bubastis derived its name and celebrity from a magnificent temple, dedicated to the goddess Bubastis, of which a particular description has been given by Herodotus (Euterpe, 138). He identifies Bubastis with Diana, and describes (40) the annual festival celebrated at this place in her honour. The site still bears the name of Tel-Bastah; but the great mass of ruins is rather more than half a mile west of the Tel at Chobra and Heryeh. There is no portion of any standing edifice remaining. All is overthrown, and the widespread rubbish affords the only remaining evidence of the ancient splendour of Bubastis. The direction of the ruins can however easily be traced, and they correspond precisely to the ancient intimations concerning Bubastis.
18. "Tehaphnehes."-We have already mentioned this as usually, and on what appears good grounds, identified with Daphnæ Pelusiæ, not far from Pelusium, and on the eastern branch of the Nile, which took its name from that city. It appears from Jer. xliii., that the kings of Egypt had a royal residence at this town, though there is no record that it was ever considered a capital city. The desolation of the ancient city is so complete, that the site now offers nothing that calls for notice. Tyrius, as cited by Adrichomius (Theatrum Terræ Sanctæ, p. 125), says that the site was in his time occupied by a very small town; as it is at present by a poor village, called Safnas-a manifest modification of the ancient name.
1 A relation unto Pharaoh, 3 of the glory of Assyria, 10 and the fall thereof for pride. 18 The like destruction of Egypt.
AND it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the third month, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude; Whom art thou like in thy greatness?
3 Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon 'with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs.
4 The waters 'made him great, the deep *set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out her 'little rivers unto all the trees of the field.
5 Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, 'when he shot forth.
6 All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations.
7 Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters.
8 The cedars in the 'garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty.
9 I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.
10 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is lifted up in his height;
11 I have therefore delivered him into
the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness.
12 And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him : upon the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of the land; and all the people of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him.
13 Upon his ruin shall all the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches:
14 To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees 'stand up in their height, all that drink water: for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit.
15 Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when he went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him.
16 I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit. and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.
17 They also went down into hell with him unto them that be slain with the sword; and they that were his arm, that dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen.
18¶To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth: thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD.
1 Heb.fair of branches. ? Or, nourished. 8 Or, brought him up. • Or, conduits. 5 Or, when it sent them forth. 6 Dan. 4. 7 Gen. 2. 8 Heb. in doing he shull do unto him. 9 Or, stand upon themselves for their height. 10 Heb. to be black. Verse 3. “The Assyrian."-Bishop Lowth thinks this noble parable much confused by the translation here of ashur, as a proper name, "the Assyrian," which, he says, can have no meaning at all in this passage. He would therefore, with Meibonius, understand it here as an epithet, "tall," or "straight," applied to the cedar. This is certainly an unusual sense, but occurs in Isa. i. 17. It is adopted by Boothroyd, who translates, "Lo, he is as a tall cedar in Lebanon ;" and adds in a note, "The exigence of the place requires this unusual sense, or else that we should suppose the word a mistake for some other." This is possible: but we do not see much difficulty in the common interpretation, or that any force is lost by supposing that the king of Egypt is admonished by the account of the glory and downfal of the Assyrian empire, under the image of a cedar. The doom of Assyria had been foretold by the prophets, and the recent accomplishment of their predictions might well be adduced as an argumentative confirmation of the prophet's veracity, in declaring that Egypt should soon meet with a like fate. For such reasons, Newcome, though aware of the objections we have stated, prefers the common interpretation.
1 A lamentation for the fearful fall of Egypt. 11 The sword of Babylon shall destroy it. 17 It shall be brought down to hell, among all the uncircumcised nations.
AND it came to pass in the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say unto him, Thou art like a young lion of the nations, and thou art as a 'whale in the seas: and thou camest forth with thy rivers, and troubledst the waters with thy feet, and fouledst their rivers.
3 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will therefore 'spread out my net over thee with a company of many people; and they shall bring thee up in my
4 Then will I leave thee upon the land, I will cast thee forth upon the open field, and will cause all the fowls of the heaven to remain upon thee, and I will fill the beasts of the whole earth with thee.
5 And I will lay thy flesh upon the mountains, and fill the valleys with thy height. 6 I will also water with thy blood the land wherein thou swimmest, even to the mountains; and the rivers shall be full of thee.
7 And when I shall 'put thee out, "I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light.
8 All the bright lights of heaven will I make 'dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD.
9 I will also vex the hearts of many people, when I shall bring thy destruction among the nations, into the countries which thou hast not known.
10 Yea, I will make many people amazed at thee, and their kings shall be horribly afraid for thee, when I shall brandish my sword before them; and they shall tremble at every moment, every man for his own life, in the day of thy fall.
11 ¶ For thus saith the Lord GOD; The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon thee.
12 By the swords of the mighty will I cause thy multitude to fall, the terrible of the nations, all of them: and they shall spoil
1 Or, dragon.
Chap. 12. 13, and 17. 20.
the pomp of Egypt, and all the multitude thereof shall be destroyed.
13 I will destroy also all the beasts thereof from beside the great waters; neither shall the foot of man trouble them any more nor the hoofs of beasts trouble them."
14 Then will I make their waters deep and cause their rivers to run like oil, saith the Lord GOD.
15 When I shall make the land of Egypt desolate, and the country shall be 'destitute of that whereof it was full, when I shall smite all them that dwell therein, then shall they know that I am the LORD.
16 This is the lamentation wherewith they shall lament her. the daughters of the nations shall lament her: they shall lament for her, even for Egypt, and for all her multitude, saith the Lord GOD.
17 It came to pass also in the twelfth year, in the fifteenth day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
18 Son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt, and cast them down, even her, and the daughters of the famous nations, unto the nether parts of the earth, with them that go down into the pit.
19 Whom dost thou pass in beauty? go down, and be thou laid with the uncircumcised.
20 They shall fall in the midst of them that are slain by the sword: she is delivered to the sword: draw her and all her multitudes.
21 The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword.
22 Asshur is there and all her company: his graves are about him: all of them slain, fallen by the sword:
23 Whose graves are set in the sides of the pit, and her company is round about her grave: all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which caused "terror in the land of the living.
24 There is Elam and all her multitude round about her grave, all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which are gone down uncircumcised into the nether parts of the earth, which caused their terror in the land of the living; yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit.
25 They have set her a bed in the midst of the slain with all her multitude: her
3 Or, the land of thy swimming.
4 Or, extinguish.
Isa. 13. 10. Joel 2.31, and 3. 15. Matth. 24. 29. Heb. light of the light in heaven. 7 Heb. them dark. 8 Heb. provoke to anger or grief. 9 Heb. desolate from the fulness thereof. 10 Or, the sword is laid. 11 Or, dismaying.
graves are round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword: though their terror was caused in the land of the living, yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit: he is put in the midst of them that be slain.
26 There is Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude: : her graves are round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword, though they caused their terror in the land of the living.
27 And they shall not lie with the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads, but their iniquities shall be upon their bones, though they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living.
28 Yea, thou shalt be broken in the midst of the uncircumcised, and shalt lie with them that are slain with the sword.
29 There is Edom, her kings, and all her princes, which with their might are laid by them that were slain by the sword: they shall lie with the uncircumcised, and with them that go down to the pit.
30 There be the princes of the north, all of them, and all the Zidonians, which are gone down with the slain; with their terror they are ashamed of their might; and they lie uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword, and bear their shame with them that go down to the pit.
31 Pharaoh shall see them, and shall be comforted over all his multitude, even Pharaoh and all his army slain by the sword, saith the Lord God.
32 For I have caused my terror in the land of the living: and he shall be laid in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that are slain with the sword, even Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD.
Verse 22. "Asshur is there and all her company; his graves are about him.”—The latter portion of this remarkable chapter describes the nations in the state of the dead, and as some curious distinctions occur in the mention of some of them, it would appear that there are several allusions to the different modes of sepulture which prevailed among them. When one of the nations is mentioned thus in nearly the same terms as another, we may perhaps infer that no remarkable distinction existed. This view has not entirely escaped the notice of some commentators; but we are aware of none who have given it so much attention as Mr. Charles Taylor, in one of the Fragments' appended to his edition of Calmet. In adopting the same view, we are glad that the plan of our work enables us to give the subject that pictorial illustration which it has not hitherto received, and which is calculated to afford the most effective elucidation of the prophet's meaning. In introducing the subject, Mr. Taylor well observes, "It is more than possible that if we could discriminate accurately the meaning of words employed by the sacred writers, we should find them adapted with a surprising precision to the subjects on which they treat. Of this the various construction of sepulchres might, probably, afford convincing evidence; and perhaps it is a leading idea in passages where it has not hitherto been observed. The numerous references in the sacred Scriptures to sepulchres supposed to be well peopled, would be misapplied to nations which burned their dead, as the Greeks and Romans did, or to those who committed them to rivers, as the Hindoos; or to those who expose them to birds of prey, as the Parsees. Nor would the phrase, 'to go down to the sides of the pit' be strictly applicable to, or be properly descriptive of, that mode of burial which prevails among ourselves. Single graves, admitting one body only, in width or in length, have no openings on the sides to which the bodies may be said to go down."-We may observe, once for all, that the frequently recurring expression here alluded to by Mr. Taylor, seems generally to refer to excavated sepulchral chambers, in the sides of which were recesses to receive the bodies of the dead. Many sepulchres of this description occur in different parts of the East.
With respect to the present allusion to the Assyrians, Taylor acknowledges that nothing is known about their mode of sepulture, except that it appears to have been similar to that of the Persians; and, he might have added, the Baby lonians: and this resemblance is corroborated by the evidence, with which Taylor does not seem to have been acquainted, of many existing sepulchral sites on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates-the rivers of Assyria and Babylonia. Some of these have been examined with interest by the writer of the present note, and they consist of urns of various forms, lined with bitumen, and sometimes glazed, containing bones and dust. They are found in almost every situation— in mounds of ruin, in the cliffs of the rivers, and even within the thick walls of ancient towns and fortresses; in some places, where the stream has cut the bank perpendicularly, its steep face presents multitudes of urns, from the summit to the water's edge, in every variety of form and size, arranged sometimes regularly, and sometimes not; which, with the occasional discovery of lines of brick-work connected with these sepulchral remains, suggests the idea, sanctioned by the Desatir, that most of the public buildings of the country had within their mass receptacles of various kinds, as cellars, niches, &c. for sepulchral urns. These seem to have been formed of kiln-dried brick, investing an interior mass of sun-dried material. Few of the urns are large enough to contain an adult human body, and which therefore could not have been deposited entire. The statement of Taylor, that bodies were not burnt in this region, though a very common one, is incorrect, and we have seen bones that bore traces of the action of fire. But this is not always the case; and, upon the whole, the evidence of existing remains tends strongly to confirm the account of the prevalent modes of sepulture, in this part of the world, which is given in the Desatir. TEXT-"A corpse you may place in a vase of aquafortis, or consign it to the fire, or to the earth." COMMENT-"The usage of the Fersendajians, regarding the dead, was this: after the soul had left the body, they washed the body in pure water, and dressed it in clean and perfumed vestments; they then put it into a vase of aquafortis, and when the body was dissolved, carried the liquid far from the city, and poured it out; or else they burned it in fire, after attiring it as has been said; or they made a dome, and formed a deep pit within it, which they built and whitened with stone, brick, and mortar; and on its edges niches were constructed and platforms erected, on which the dead were deposited: or they buried a vase in the earth, and enclosed the corpse in it; or buried it in a coffin in the ground: and, in the estimation of the Fersendajians, the most eligible of VOL. III. 2 A 177
all these was the vase of aquafortis." We regard this passage as of remarkable and curious interest, not only from the general view it gives of the ancient modes of sepulture in this region, but as affording some explanation of allusions contained in Scripture. A sufficient elucidation of the present text, for instance, seems to be conveyed in the passage which we have distinguished by Italics.
24. "Elam."-That is, Persia. The passage on this subject in the Desatir applies primarily to the modes of sepulture among this people, although, considering it equally applicable to Assyria and Babylonia, we have given it in the preceding note. However, we also know that the ancient Persians deposited their mighty dead in such sepulchres hewn in the living rock as we have frequently had occasion to notice-the practice being common among the Jews themselves, and existing formerly in almost every country of Western Asia; the sepulchres of this class being distinguished chiefly, in the different nations, by peculiarities of internal arrangement and external ornament, to which we need not particularly refer after the ample statements we have already on different occasions furnished. As a suitable illustration of the present allusion to Persian sepulture, we now introduce a representation of "the mountain of sepulchres at Nakshi-Roustam, which appear to be of an antiquity not long posterior to the time of Ezekiel, and which we have already had occasion to notice under Isa. xxii. 16, to which we may refer the reader. And that he may be enabled to form some idea of the internal appearance and arrangement of such sepulchres, we also introduce a representation of the interior of the "Sepulchre of the Kings," at Jerusalem; an exterior view of which, with a description, has been given under 2 Chron. xxiv. On this point we may also refer to the note on Gen. xxiii. 19.