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of idolatry. Because of this it was that God appointed them to an ordeal of captivity and chastisement. The reason of their captivity is as plainly declared as the fact of the captivity itself. And it is to this great event in sacred history that the present article is devoted, in which our object will be not only to unfold the Scripture account of it, but also to point out how that account is confirmed and illustrated by recent discoveries.
In a former paper, we remarked how in the eighth century, before the Christian era, Assyria and Egypt were the two great eastern powers contending for the mastery of the world, and that, as Palestine lay between them, there was the great battle-field where the question of lordship was to be settled by the issues of war. That fact is a key to the relations subsisting between the Jews and the Egyptians on the one hand, and the Jews and the Assyrians on the other. The story of the Captivity brings us into contact with the
was not to exhibit valor, not to teach
tion, and monuments, we refer to the paper philosophy, but to be ministers of true religion. Instead of this, however, they
already mentioned. plunged into all the absurdities and crimes
As early as 771 B. C. we notice Mena
hem, king of Israel, in a position of deIn this narrative, the autobiographic form of
pendency upon the empire of Assyria. which has been chosen as that which admitted
“And Pul,” we are told in 2 Kings xv, of the greatest condensation of fact and impli- 19, 20, “came against the land : and Mencation, in union with the greatest amount of in- ahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, terest, the writer, under the general guidance that his hand might be with him to conof Professor Lepsius, has combined the substance of what may be learned alike from Manetho firm the kingdom in his hand. And Menand the monuments, from Herodotus, Diodorus, ahem exacted the money of Israel, even Pliny, and other Greek and Latin authorities, of all the mighty men of wealth, of each together with the inspired and invaluable records of the Pentateuch. The antiquity and king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria
man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the reliableness of the latter divine records come into prominence the more carefully and thor- turned back, and stayed not there in the oughly they are compared with other sources land." From this passage it appears that of information, and without them it would be the Assyrian monarch invaded the Israelimpossible to reproduce, in living outline, the itish frontier, probably for the express age of the Pharaohs of the nineteenth dynasty. The best justification of the narrative now sub- purpose of levying tribute on it, and that mitted to the reader is to be found in its con- Menahem, in paying it, sought his friendly sistency. If these parts so combine as to form protection and help. It implies that his a living whole, we may regard that whole as representing a reality that once passed over the government was feeble, and his position stage of the world. The view which underlies anything but independent; and though this the signs and wonders of the narrative is is the earliest allusion in the sacred volume strictly the Biblical view-namely, that the to any connection between Palestine and plagues were inflicted by the very hand of God, Assyria, Mr. Layard observes that “the and that the doings of the magicians were bungling attempts, manifest failures, and, so Jewish tribes, as long suspected by Biblifar as they had any accomplishment, the results cal scholars, can now be proved to have of merely superior scientific skill. Believing held their dependent position upon the Asin the Bible, the author believes in miracles, syrian king from a very early period; inand consequently is not forced to any idle endeavors to bring about a compromise between deed, long before the time inferred from supe turalism and naturalism.
any passage of Scripture.” This invasion,
then, in the days of Menahem, may have taking of Rome by Alaric; whereas a long been only to enforce the payment of a succession of incidents must be included tribute imposed before, as repeated expe- in any just view of that catastrophe. So ditions against the same country simply to the taking of Israel and Judah captive is exact revenue, neglected or refused, form often noticed as if it were a single occura staple subject of history in the sculptured rence, whereas it was in reality a transrecords of Nineveh. But, however this action which spread itself over a century might be in regard to Israel, we find Pul and a half. plainly enough treating that kingdom, at In pursuing the subject, our first purthe time just noticed, as a lord would his pose is to notice the successive deportavassal. The beginning of the Captivity tions of the Jewish tribes which took place was now at hand. The verse just quoted during this extended period. It does not rings the death-knell of the nation. appear from the Scripture narrative that
In a cursory review of the past history any of the Israelites were carried away of the world, we often compress into a captive hy Pul, when he made his inroads point, or generalize one emphatic state-on the territory of Menahem. Immunity, ment, some grand event which it took in that respect, seems to have been purmany years to evolve.
Thus, for exam chased by the payment of tribute. The ple, we give one fixed date to the fall of earliest account of the people being carthe Roman empire. We refer to the ried into exile occurs in the history of the
itants of Gilead and Galilee. The former were of the tribes of Gad and Reuben, the latter of Zebulon and Napthali. Lying on the east of the Jordan, and to the north of Samaria, they were among the most exposed of the Israelitish population. Chiefly of pastoral habits, addicted to feeding their flocks on the banks of the river so dear to their tribes, and on the slopes of the mountains so hallowed in their country's songs—they were simple and helpless, and unable to defend themselves against the military forces
which swept over their terrireign of Pekah, who succeeded Menahem, tories: nor had they that firm faith in the next but one. Pekahiah, the intermediate Divine Ruler of Israel, which was Israel's monarch, who occupied the throne but two only true protection ; for long had they years, received the crown in 761, and been debased by their intermixture with formed an alliance with Rezin, the king the idolatrous Canaanites. As to the porof Syria, against the royal house of David. tion of the captives dwelling in the northA war ensued. Elath, a town in Judea, ern cities or towns, they must have been was seized by the Syrian king. Pekah a poor and miserable class of men, at least gained a great victory over his brethren in the eyes of the victors ; seeing that of Israel, and led multitudes away captive. Solomon so readily offered those cities or These wars were fratricidal. Brothers towns as a gift to Hiram, king of Tyre, were slaying brothers ; but nature and re- and he so unwillingly received them. ligion, at least for a little while, subdued They pleased him not,” we are informed the cruel passions of jealousy and revenge, in the first Book of Kings : and he said, when, in consequence of the humane and • What cities are these which thou hast pious appeal of the prophet Obed, the given me, my brother? And he called Israelites took the captives," and from the them the land of Cabul ;" that is, the land spoil clothed all that were naked among of dirt. Such were the people who were them, and arrayed them, and shod them, first carried into foreign exile, out of Palesand gave them to eat and drink, and tine ; and it is to their calamities that anointed them, and carried all the feeble Isaiah alludes when speaking of the vexaof them upon asses, and brought them to tion which debased the land of Zebulon Jericho, the city of palm-trees, to their and the land of Napthali. brethren."
Twenty years after the first deportation This event was a prelude to another of Israel, a far more serious one took place captivity, unalleviated by such touches of in the reign of Hoshea. In 721, Shaltenderness. Ahaz, king of Judah, and his maneser invaded that monarch's territory. people, trembled before the alliance of the He had withheld his tribute, as seems to monarchs of Syria and Israel, like “the have been common with the dependents trees of the wood moved by the winds." upon the Assyrian throne; and the AsHe sought the aid of the king of Assyria, syrian king, as was also his wont, forthTiglath Pileser. These two smoking fire with marched an army against his recusant brands were soon quenched by the great vassal. Hoshea had sought alliance with power under whose protection the fright- Egypt, the great rival of Assyria—a cirened prince of Judah thus heedlessly placed cumstance which increased the exasperahimself and his people. As one of the tion excited by the neglect of the accusresults of the collisions that ensued, a large tomed payments. So the great eastern number of Pekah's subjects were carried sovereign came and wreaked his vengeance away captive. They were chiefly inhab- on Samaria, shutting up Hoshea in prison, and carrying away, in all probability, the court and the flower of the people into Assyria, where they were placed in Halah and Habor, by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. This was the end of the Israelitish monarchy after it had lasted nearly two hundred and seventy years. Amos, who had fulfilled his inspired ministrations about half a century before, had foretold this final catastrophe, which was to demolish the commonwealth of Israel. “The Lord God," he exclaimed, " hath sworn by his holiness, that, lo! the days shall come upon you, that he will take you away with hooks, and your and subjection. Inferior captives appear posterity with fish-hooks; and ye shall go with their feet in fetters, and their hands out at the breaches,” or, according to the laden with manacles. Their sluggish march Syriac and Chaldee, toward the mountains is hastened by their new masters, who goad of Armenia : and again, “ Therefore will them on with their spears and swords. I cause you to go into captivity beyond Women are carried away in carts, accomDamascus."
panied by thin miserable children, who The figure here drawn from the practice vent their agony by tearing their hair, and of the angler is very striking. But there throwing dust on their heads. Scribes are was more than a mere figure here. It meanwhile employed taking an inventory was customary with the Assyrian con- of the spoil. There they stand by the querors to put hooks or rings through the gates, writing down on leather the booty lip and nose of their captives, of which that is brought out, and the number of there is an example in a bass-relief from sheep and oxen as well as prisoners. The Khorsabad ; and other representations, whole of the mournful spectacle is revived; while they testify to the Assyrian habit and mourning, lamentation, and wo, seem of removing large portions of the people to gush out afresh as we ponder these old in a subjugated territory to another and Assyrian sculptures, coeval with the times distant part of the dominions, also enable when the daughter of Israel was cast down us to picture the melancholy scenes wit- by God for her idolatries, and given into nessed when the monarch with his nobles the hands of her enemies for chastisement. and inferior subjects were dragged away Sir Robert K. Porter discovered some from the gates of Samaria. We see the sculptures on the rocks of Be-sitoon, in victorious monarch, attended by his eu- the vale of Merdasht, on the borders of nuchs and other officers, seated on a throne ancient Assyria, which he thinks refer in a conspicuous spot within the walls of to the captivity of the ten tribes by Shalthe captured city. The chief personages maneser.
A chain of captives is repreamong the prisoners prostrate themselves sented brought before the king. The before him, and receive his lordly foot skirts of the garments are covered with upon their necks, in token of surrender | arrow-headed characters, and the last of