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B. C. 163, to the Birth of Christ, containing 163 years. It comprises the reigns of the successors of Judas Maccabeus; the interference of the Romans in the Jewish affairs; their final subjection of Judea; the elevation of Herod the Idumean to the throne, and his reign till the birth of Christ.
These epochs are peculiarly adapted to the Jewish affairs, which, as a branch of Universal History, we shall now sketch with a reference to the divisions of time observed in the ten Tables of Ancient History, which form a part of this work.
The Creation of the World is dated by Blair (following the Hebrew text) 4004 years before the birth of Christ,* and in the year 710 of the Julian Period. This act of Omnipotence occupied the space of six days, and as the book of Genesis informs us, proceeded in the following order :-On the 1st day God created the Heavens and the Earth. On the 2nd, the firmament dividing the waters from the waters.-On the 3rd, the dry land appeared, with trees, herbs, &c.-On the 4th, the sun, moon, and stars.— On the 5th, fish and foul.—On the 6th, beasts and reptiles; and also Adam and Eve, who were placed by their Almighty Creator in the Garden of Eden, in a state of innocence and bliss; eminently distinguished from the brutes, by the gift of a reasonable soul and the faculty of free agency, subject only to one restriction, as the test of faith and obedience, and forewarned that a violation of it would be punished with death, this was God's first covenant with man. -The seventh day was sanctified by God as a sabbath, or day of rest, and commanded to be for ever held sacred. How long Adam and Eve continued in the Garden of Eden the Scriptures do not inform us. Some Authors +
* The Septuagint dates 5872 B. C., and the Samaritan 4700 B. C. ↑ Univ. Hist. vol. 1. p. 12. 8vo. Edit.
suppose that previous to the return of the sabbath, having broken the covenant, they were driven out of Paradise, but still comforted with the promise, that the seed of the womant should bruise the serpent's head: this promise constituted the second covenant, (see Rom. v. 15-19) and is the root of our holy religion; the promised seed being no other than the Messiah, our blessed Lord and Saviour; through faith in whom, and sincere repentance of sin, salvation is obtained for fallen man, (see Prophecy, 1st Period, A.)
(') Cain was born in the year after the expulsion from 4003. Paradise, (*) and Abel the year following, (2); and (3) doubtless Adam and Eve had many other children, 4002. though the Scriptures are silent upon this head, and upon every other incident of the first century. Early in the second, Cain afforded to the world the first example of atrocious wickedness, in the murder of his innocent (3) brother, (3) and was in consequence cursed by God, 3875. and driven from the society of man. His apprehen
sion (expressed in the exclamation "behold now every one that findeth me shall slay me") of suffering from the vengeance of his fellow creatures, proves that many others besides himself did at that time exist. Cain retired into the land of Nod, and built a city, calling it after the name of his son Enoch.-Of his posterity the names only, viz. Enoch, Irad, Mehujael, Methusael, are recorded, till we come to Lamech, the sixth in succession; he is said to have been the second murderer, and the first man who had two wives. In his family the arts and sciences seem to have arisen and flourished; his son Jabel was the inventor of tents; Jubal, of musical instruments; Tubal-Cain, of working in metals; and his daughter Naamah, (according to the Rabbins) invented spinning and weaving: the whole race separating themselves from God's covenant were styled
* See Shuckford's Connection, vol. i. p. 8, and 38.
"the sons of men." The year after the death of Abel, was born Seth, (4) i. e. appointed, so named by his (4) mother as being "appointed" her by God for 3874. "another seed, instead of Abel whom Cain slew." To Seth was born Enos, (5) who zealously promoted piety; it was in his days that "men began to 3769. call upon the name of the Lord" or to assemble for public worship; and his descendants are distinguished from the race of Cain by the glorious appellation of "the sons of God." To Enos was born Cainan, (6) who trod in the steps of his pious father; but in the days of his son Mahalaleel, (2) the sons of God intermarried with the "daughters of men;" and to ex- 3609. press this descent from virtue to vice, he named his son, Jared, (8) i. e. "he descends." And here it may (8) be proper to remark, that throughout the Scriptures, 3544. but more particularly in the earliest ages, the names of persons and places are frequently made the medium of transmitting to posterity the traditional record of remarkable events.
To Jared was born Enoch, (2) i. e. dedicated, and (9) to him Methusaleh, (1) i. e. “he has sent his death," 3382. and was prophetic of the Deluge. To Methusaleh was born Lamech, i. e. "humbled, poor," ("). In the 3317, 56th year of Lamech died Adam, aged 930.(3)* The (3) date of this event is of considerable importance, as 3130. it proves, by the testimony of man, the authenticity (4) of Moses' account of the antediluvians. Adam, at 3074.
“There is a peculiarity in the denunciation of the penalty (of Adam's disobedience) which deserves some notice.
Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for IN THE DAY THAT THOU EATEST THEREOF, thou shalt surely die" Gen. ii. 17.
Such was the original denunciation; and it has been asked, how it was fulfilled? for though Adam did undoubtedly die at length, yet, so far from dying in the day that he eat of the forbidden tree, he did' not die until he had reached the age of 930 years.
the time of his death, would have transmitted to the surviving patriarchs the traditional history of mankind, from the Creation to the year of the world 930; which might in like manner be conveyed to Shem by Methusaleh, thus making the antediluvian history pass through only two B. C. hands. The next remarkable event was the transla(4) tion of pious Enoch, (4) the execution of the sen3017. tence of death in Adam being followed by (perhaps) a figurative representation of the second life which we have in Christ, Heb. xi. 5. John xi. 25, 25. (see also Prophecy, 1st Period.)
(5) To Lamech was born Noah, (5) i. e. "consola2948. tion," "comfort," corresponding with the prediction of his father, "this same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed." Gen. v. 29, fulfilled Gen. viii. 21.
The true answer to the question I take to be this.-In holy Scripture, the term day is used both literally and mystically. Thus, with the prophets, a day is employed to denote a year; and thus, by a yet greater involution, a day of God is equivalent to a whole millenary,. Ps. xc. 4. 2 Pet. iii. 8. From this ancient and well known mode of computation originated the idea, so familiar both to Jews and to Christians, that the world is to last in its state of labour 6000 years, and that then it is to enjoy a seventh millenary of holy rest.—See Mede's Works, book v. c. 3. For, as it was created in six, perhaps natural days, which were succeeded by a seventh sabbatical day; they agreed, that it would remain six days of God, which should be succeeded by a seventh divine day of sabbatism. Now I apprehend, that the day of which the Lord speaks to Adam, is a day of God, or a thousand natural years. The prophetical denunciation, therefore, is that he should die in the millenary that he eat of the forbidden fruit. This, accordingly, was accomplished; for Adam died before he had attained the age of 1000 years; that is to say, he died in the course of the same great day of God, wherein he had transgressed the divine command. It is further worthy of observation, that after the fall, the life of man was confined within the limits of one of these great days of the Lord; for not a single antediluvian patriarch reached the age of a millenary: so that, through sin, he literally became an ephemeral being,-Faber, Hora Mosaica, vol. i. p. 11.
After the birth of Noah, the Scriptures record only the gradual corruption of mankind, provoking at length the "spirit" of God not to strive always with man upon the plea of his natural frailty, "yet (said God) his days shall be an hundred and twenty years," which time was allowed for repentance. Noah was commissioned to reveal to mankind this warning decree, (6) and to exhort them to turn from their evil ways, that so 2468. they might escape the threatened destruction; at the same time he received the command to build the ark, and began to construct it. During the interval of probatión were born Noah's three sons, Japhet, Shem, and Ham; Shem is the only one of them, the date of whose birth
is recorded, (7) he being the one appointed to con- (1) tinue the line of succession in which the promises 2446. descended.
Shortly before the flood (and in the same year) died Methusaleh, aged 969, (6) and the period of (8) probation being ended, Noah, by the command of 2848. God entered the ark, taking with him his wife, his
sons and their wives, and some of every species of living creature; and "the Lord shut him in." Seven days after which the Deluge began; it lasted a year, and destroyed every living substance, “both man and cattle and the creep ing things, and the fowl of the heaven. —Noah only re mained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.”— See the minute account of the time, manner, and every circumstance of this tremendous judgment, upon a world lost by disobedience and unbelief, Gen. çh. vi, and vii., and compare it with Matt. xxiv. 37-42, where an awful analogy is drawn between the thoughtless professing Christian and the antediluvian reprobate.
In the scale of time, this period of history will occupy a very large space, (1656 years) and nearly half the interval between the Creation of the World and the Birth of Christ; and barren as it may seem as to historical matter,