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neither daunted with the fall of their neighbour cities, nor with the obstinate resolution of this mighty prince, employing all his power to their subversion.
That the city of Tyre was rather well pleased than any way discouraged with the fall of Jerusalem, (which had held the same course that Tyrus did, and endured all that might be in the same quarrel against the common enemy,) it appears by the words which Ezekiel condemneth as the common voice of Tyrus; y Aha, the gate of the people is broken, it is turned unto me ; for seeing she is desolate, I shall be replenished. Yet at the length, even in the nineteenth year of Nabuchodonosor, that great work of his, whereof we have already spoken, began to appear above the waters, and threaten them with inevitable mischief.
But those prophecies of 2 Jeremy and of Esay, which appoint unto this desolation of Tyre the same term of seventy years, that was prescribed unto the reign of the Chaldeans, do plainly shew that she followed Jerusalem, the same nineteenth year of Nabuchodonosor, in the same or a very like fortune. The particularities, which doubtless were memorable in the issue of so great and laborious a siege, are in a manner utterly lost. Thus much we find, that the citizens perceiving the town unable to hold out, embarked themselves, and fled into the isle of Cyprus. Nevertheless it seems that this evasion served only the principal men, who escaping with their goods, abandoned the poorer sort unto the enemies' fury. For not only such people of Tyre as dwelt on the continent (who were called her daughters in the field) were put to the sword; but the like execution was done in the streets, into which with excessive labour the Assyrian made way for his horses and chariots. Thus a Nabuchodonosor caused his army to serve a great service against T'yrus, wherein every head was made bald, and every shoulder was made bare; yet had he no wages, nor his army; but was fain to rest contented with the honour of having destroyed that city, which in all men's judgments had been held invincible.
y Ezek. xxvi. 2. : Jer. xxv. Isa. xxiii. 15. • Ezek. xxix. 18.
The destruction of these two great and powerful cities having made the name of the Chaldeans dreadful in the ears of all the nations thereabout, Nabuchodonosor used the advantage of that reputation which he had obtained by victories already gotten, to the getting of more, and more profitable, with less pain. The kingdom of Egypt was the mark at which he aimed; a country so abounding in all riches and pleasures, that it might well have tempted any prince, finding himself strong enough, to seek occasion of quarrel against it; and so far an enemy to the crown of Babylon, that had it been poorer, yet either it must have been subdued, or the conquest of Syria could ill have been established. Nevertheless it was needful that before he entered into this business, the countries adjacent should be reduced into such terms, that either they should wholly stand at his devotion, or at least be unable to work him any displeasure. And herein the decree of God concurred, as in all prosperous enterprises, with reason of state. For the people of Moab, Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar, Hazor, and other adjoining regions, whom God for their sins had condemned to fall under the Babylonian swords, were such, as, regarding only their own gain, had some of them, like ravens, followed the Chaldean army to feed upon the carcasses that fell by the cruelty thereof; others taking advantage of their neighbours' miseries, occupied the countries which were by his victories belonging to Nabuchodonosor; all of them thinking, that when the Assyrian had satisfied his fury, he should be fain to forsake those desolate parts, and leave the possession to those that could lay hand upon it. Particularly the b Edomites and Philistines had shewed much malice to the Jews when their city was taken. What good service they had done to the Chaldeans, I find not; if they did any, it is likely to have been with reference to their own purposes, wherein they were disappointed. The c Ammonites were not contented to rejoice at the fall of Jerusalem, but presently they entered upon the country of Gad, and took possession, as if Ezek. XX5, 12, 15.
• Ezek. xxv. 3. Jer. xlix. I.
not the Assyrians, but they, had subdued Israel. Neither can I perceive what other ground that practice had of d Baalis king of the Ammonites, when he sent Ismael, a prince of the blood of Juda, to murder Gedalia, whom the king of Babel had left governor over those that remained in Israel, and to carry captive into the Ammonites' country the people that abode in Mispah, than a desire of embroiling Nabuchodonosor with so many labours at once, as should make him retire into his own country, and abandon those wasted lands to himself and others, for whom they lay conveniently. Such or the like policy the Moabites did exercise, whose pride and wrath were made frustrate by God, and their dissimulation condemned, as not doing right.
All these nations had the art of ravening, which is familiar to such as live or border upon deserts; and now the time afforded them occasion to shew the uttermost cunning of their thievish wits. But Nebuchadnezzar did cut asunder all their devices by sharp and sudden war, overwhelming them with unexpected ruin, as it were, in one night ; according to the prophecies of e Esay, Jeremy, and Ezekiel, who foretold, with little difference of words, the greatness and swiftness of the misery that should come upon them. With which of them he first began, I find not; it seems that Moab was the last which felt his hand : for so do many good authors interpret the prophecy of Esay, threatening Moab with destruction after three years, as having reference to the third year following the ruin of Jerusalem ; the next year after it being spent in the Egyptian expedition. This is manifest, that all the principal towns in these regions were burnt, and the people slain, or made slaves, few excepted, who being preserved by flight, had not the courage to return to their habitations overhastily, much less to attempt any thing against Nabuchodonosor, and lived as miserable outlaws, or at least oppressed wretches, until the end of the seventy years, which God had prescribed unto the desolation of their countries, as well as of the land of Juda.
Jer. xl. 14. and xli. 2, 10. Jer. xxviii. 27, &c.
• Isai. xvi. 14.
SECT. VIII. That Egypt was conquered, and the king therein reigning slain by
Nabuchodonosor, contrary to the opinion of most authors; who following Herodotus and Diodorus, relate it otherwise.
WHEN by a long course of victory Nabuchodonosor had brought into subjection all the nations of Syria, and the bordering Arabians, in such wise that no enemy to himself, nor friend of the Egyptians, was left at his back that might give impediment unto his proceeding, or take advantage of any misfortune; then did he forth with take in hand the conquest of Egypt himself, upon which those other nations had formerly been depending. Of this expedition, and the victorious issue thereof, the three great prophets, Esay, Jeremy, and Ezekiel, have written so plainly, that I hold it altogether needless to look after more authority, or to cite for proof half of that which may be alleged out of these. Nevertheless we find many and good authors, who, following Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, are well contented to strain these prophecies with unreasonable diligence unto such a sense, as gives to Nabuchodonosor little more than the honour of having done some spoil in Egypt, omitting the conquest of that land by the Babylonian, and referring the death of Apries, or Hophra, to a chance long after following, which had no coherence with these times or affairs. So preposterous is the delight which many men take in the means and second helps conducing to their purpose, that oftentimes they prefer the commentator before the author ; and to uphold a sentence giving testimony to one clause, do carelessly overthrow the history itself, which thereby they sought to have maintained. The reports of Herodotus and Diodorus concerning the kings of Egypt which reigned about these times are already rehearsed in the former book; but that which they have spoken of Apries was purposely reserved unto this place. f Herodotus affirms, that he was a very fortunate king, but wherein he telleth not, (unless we should understand that he was victorious in the war which he is said to have made upon Tyrus and Sidon,) that he reigned twenty-five years, and was finally taken and put to death by his own subjects, who did set up Amasis as king, which prevailed against him. The rebellion of the Egyptians he imputeth to a great loss which they received in an expedition against the Cyrenians, by whom almost their whole army was destroyed. This calamity the people of Egypt thought to be well pleasing to their king, who had sent them on this dangerous expedition, with a purpose to have them consumed, that so he might with greater security reign over such as stayed at home. So they who escaped, and the friends of such as were slain, rebelled against Apries, who sent Amasis to appease the tumult; but Amasis became captain of the rebels, and was by them chosen king. Finally, the whole land consented unto this new election, whereby Apries was driven to trust unto his foreign mercenaries, the Ionians and Carians, of whom he kept in readiness thirty thousand good soldiers that fought valiantly for him, but were vanquished by the great numbers of the Egyptian forces, amounting unto two hundred and fifty thousand, which were all by birth and education men of war. Apries himself being taken prisoner, was gently intreated by Amasis for a while, until the Egyptians, exclaiming upon him as an extreme enemy to the land, got him delivered into their hands, and strangled him, yet gave him honourable burial. Such is the report of Hero dotus, with whom 8 Diodorus Siculus nearly agrees, telling us that Apries did vanquish the Cyprians and Phænicians in battle at sea, took by force and demolished Sidon, won the other towns of Phænicia and the isle of Cyprus, and finally perished, as is before rehearsed, when he had reigned twenty-two years. This authority were enough (yet not more than enough) to inform us of Apries's history, if greater authority did not contradict it. But the destruction of Egypt by the Babylonian, foretold by the prophets, which hath no coherence with these relations, hath greater force to compel our belief than hath the traditions of Egyptian priests, (which the Greek historians followed,)
i Herod, 1. 2. and ). 4.