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IN the thirteenth year of the reign of Nabuchodonosor, the two and twentieth day of the first month, the word was given out in the house of Nabuchodonosor king of the Assyrians, that he would revenge himself.

Ver. 1.  Thirteenth.  Gr. 18th.

 

--- Month.  Nisan, in spring.


2 And he called all the ancients, and all the governors, and his officers of war, and communicated to them the secret of his counsel:

Ver. 2.  Secret.  Lit. "mystery."  Tob. xii. 7.  C.

 

--- Abditos principis sensus exquirere illicitum.  Tacit. An. vi.


3 And he said that his thoughts were to bring all the earth under his empire.

Ver. 3.  Empire.  "The thirst of empire and riches is an old and deep-rooted cause of making war."  Sallust. Frag.

 

--- Gr. adds, "and they (counsellors) judged that all flesh must be destroyed of those who had not complied with his order."   H.

 

--- God laughs at the vain designs of men.  C.


4 And when this saying pleased them all, Nabuchodonosor, the king, called Holofernes the general of his armies,

Ver. 4.  Armies.  Gr. adds, "and the second after himself," in the kingdom.  M.

 

--- Casaubon suspects that this drunkard was the king mentioned in history, as having lost the kingdom of Cappadocia, by attempting to introduce the dissolute feasts of Baccus.  Polyb. xxxii. ap. Athen. x. 11.

 

--- He made his attack first upon this country, v. 13.


5 And said to him: Go out against all the kingdoms of the west, and against them especially that despised my commandment.

Ver. 5.  Commandment.  Gr. adds, he must demand "earth and water," as an acknowledgment of his dominion, and that all necessaries of life belonged to him.  This custom prevailed in Persia.  Herod. iv. 123.  Polyb. xix.  Brisson iii.


6 Thy eye shall not spare any kingdom, and all the strong cities thou shalt bring under my yoke. 7 Then Holofernes called the captains and officers of the power of the Assyrians: and he mustered men for the expedition, as the king commanded him, a hundred and twenty thousand fighting men on foot, and twelve thousand archers, horsemen. 8 And he made all his warlike preparations to go before with a multitude of innumerable camels, with all provisions sufficient for the armies in abundance, and herds of oxen, and flocks of sheep, without number. 9 He appointed corn to be prepared out of all Syria in his passage.

Ver. 9.  Syria: part of which, it seems, had submitted.  C.

 

--- Gr. "and corn for every man, in abundance," (H.) for fear it should be carried off in the countries which he invaded.  M.




10 But gold and silver he took out of the king's house in great abundance. 11 And he went forth he and all the army, with the chariots, and horsemen, and archers, who covered the face of the earth, like locusts.

Ver. 11.  Archers.  Gr. adds, "a mixed multitude," not bearing arms.  Ex. xii. 38.


12 And when he had passed through the borders of the Assyrians, he came to the great mountains of Ange, which are on the left of Cilicia: and he went up to all their castles, and took all the strong places.

Ver. 12.  When.  Gr. "and they proceeded from Ninive, three days' journey, to the plain of Bektileth," or Bagdania, in Cappadocia, between Mount Argee and Taurus.  Strabo (xii.) assures us that Argee is the highest mountain in the country, from which the two seas of Cilicia and the Euxine may be seen.  C.




13 And he took by assault the renowned city of Melothus, and pillaged all the children of Tharsis, and the children of Ismahel, who were over against the face of the desert, and on the south of the land of Cellon.

Ver. 13.  Melothus, or Melita, built by Semiramis, (Pliny vi. 3.) in the same country.

 

--- Tharsis, or Cilicia, peopled by the son of Javan.

 

--- Ishmahel, on the Euphrates, east of the Desert Arabia.




14 And he passed over the Euphrates and came into Mesopotamia: and he forced all the stately cities that were there, from the torrent of Mambre, till one comes to the sea:

Ver. 14.  Mambre.  Gr. "Abrona, (C.) or Arbonai;" (H.) that is, from the river Chaboras to the Persian Gulph, or sea.  C.




15 And he took the borders thereof from Cilicia to the coasts of Japheth, which are towards the south.

Ver. 15.  Japheth, or Joppe, now Jaffa.  Serarius.

 

--- Gr. "he cut in pieces all who opposed him; and he came to the borders of Japheth, which are on the south, over-against Arabia."




16 And he carried away all the children of Madian, and stripped them of all their riches, and all that resisted him he slew with the edge of the sword.

Ver. 16.  Carried.  Greek, "surrounded...and burnt their tents, and plundered their folds for cattle:" mandraV.  H.

 

--- Madian lay to the east of the Dead Sea.  C.




17 And after these things he went down into the plains of Damascus in the days of the harvest, and he set all the corn on fire, and he caused all the trees and vineyards to be cut down

Ver. 17.  Harvest.  The rapidity of his conquests was astonishing, as all this had been done in six or seven weeks, v. 1.  But Holofernes probably sent his lieutenants into different parts at the same time.  C.

 

--- Caused.  Gr. "he burnt all their fields, and destroyed their flocks and herds, and plundered their cities, and put to the sword all their young men."




18 And the fear of them fell upon all the inhabitants of the land.

Ver. 18.  Land.  Gr. adds, "on the sea-shore, in Sidon,...Ascalon," &c.  H.


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