Davidson’s Commentary on Ezekiel

A.B. Davidson's Commentary on Ezekiel
Andrew Bruce Davidson (1831 – January 26, 1902)

The following public domain book is now available for free download in PDF:

A.B. Davidson [1831-1902], The Book of the Prophet Ezekiel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1892. Hbk. pp.368.

Chapter 1. The Book of Ezekiel

The Book of Ezekiel is simpler and more perspicuous in its arrangement than any other of the great prophetical books. It was probably committed to writing late in the prophet’s life, and, unlike the prophecies of Isaiah, which were given out piecemeal, was issued in its complete form at once. The prophecies are disposed upon the whole in chronological order, though the book may contain much that was never actually spoken, and even the prophecies that were orally delivered may have undergone considerable modification under the pen of the prophet when reproducing them. None of the prophets shews any anxiety to record his discourses in the precise form in which he delivered them. The aim of the prophets in their writings was not literary but practical, as it was in their speeches. It was their purpose to influence the minds of the people when they spoke, and this was equally their purpose when they wrote, and, if in the interval the circumstances of the people had to some extent changed, they did not hesitate to accommodate their former discourses to the new situation. The book of Ezekiel is occupied with two great themes: the destruction of the city and nation; and the reconstitution of the people and their eternal peace. The book thus falls into two equal divisions of 24 chapters each:-
First Division, ch. i.-xxiv., Prophecies of the destruction of the city and nation, its certainty and necessity.
Second Division, ch. xxv.-xlviii., Prophecies of the restoration of the people, their regeneration .and eternal peace as the people of the Lord.
These prophecies are for the most part symbolical actions, of which the explanation is added; or allegories and riddles, the meaning of which is read to the people. Though a good many actual events are referred to, the book contains little that is historical. It is rather a book of general principles. These principles are all but deductions from the prophet’s conception of Jehovah, God of Israel and God over all. In this respect Ezekiel resembles the author of Is. xl-lxvi, though he has neither the breadth of sympathy nor the glow of emotion that distinguish the Evangelist of the Old Testament.

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Biblical and Literary Essays – A.B. Davidson

Andrew Bruce Davidson (1831 – January 26, 1902)
Andrew Bruce Davidson (1831 – January 26, 1902)

The following public domain collection of essays is now available for free download in PDF:

A.B. Davidson [1831-1902], Biblical and Literary Essays, 2nd edn. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1903. pp.320.

Andrew Bruce Davidson (1831 – January 26, 1902) was Professor of Hebrew and Oriental languages in New College, University of Edinburgh. This volume was edited by his successor at New College, Prof. J.A. Paterson (1851-1915).

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Table of Contents

I – Biblical Theology

II – The Wisdom of the Hebrews

III – The Prophet Hosea

IV – The Prophet Amos

V – The Second Psalm

VI – Psalm LXXII

VII – Psalm CX

VIII – The English Bible and its Revision

IX – Mohammed and Islam

X – Arabic Poetry

XI – Modern Religion and Old Testament Immortality

XII – The Rationale of a Preacher

XIII – The Uses of the Old Testament for Edification

Babylon in the Days of Nebuchadrezzar

Nebuchadrezzar II c 634 – 562 BC
Nebuchadrezzar II c 634 – 562 BC [Source: Wikipedia]
Continuing my series of articles by British Assyriologist Theophilus G. Pinches on Babylon, the following public domain lecture is now available in PDF.

Theophilus G. Pinches [1856-1934], “Babylon in the Days of Nebuchadrezzar,” Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 52 (1920): 178-208.

Babylon in the Days of Nebuchadrezzar

Of all the many and renowned rulers that Babylonia, in the centuries of her long history, possessed, there is probably none who attained a greater reputation than he who captured Jerusalem, and led the Jews into captivity at Babylon. This, of course, made his name one of the most prominent in Jewish history. But in addition to this, he was regarded by them as the great builder, or one of the great builders of the Babylon of later days – that great capital of the ancient Eastern world, described for us, among others, by Herodotus, and specially referred to in the Book of Daniel as Nebuchadrezzar’s work. This king, in fact, is represented as congratulating himself upon this great achievement, when, walking about in his palace, he said, “Is not this great Babylon which I have built for the royal dwelling-place, by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?” That he should have imagined himself the builder of a city founded at least 2000 years before his time, might well be regarded as the beginning of his madness, but there is no doubt that not a few of its glories, such as they were, were due to him, as many of his inscriptions show.
Notwithstanding its reputation Babylon, cannot have been a beautiful city, and many of its most celebrated monuments were more massive than grand. Nevertheless, the Babylonians thought much of it, and looked upon its holy places with poetical reverence. Doubtless much has to be done in the way of exploration before we shall get a really good idea of its extent outside the walls. The portion to which most attention has been paid formed the inner city, and is undoubtedly the oldest part. Here stood the royal palaces, including that in which Nebuchadrezzar is said, in the Book of Daniel, to have been walking when he made the memorable utterance referred to above; and in this section, also, were the temple of Belus (Merodach) and the great temple-tower whose erection is described in the 11th chapter of Genesis. In this portion Herodotus’s statement that the streets of the city crossed each other at right angles, and were interrupted by the walls bordering the Euphrates, does not seem to be confirmed. It is therefore probable that the old city, called Susanna, has to be excepted, and this would only be natural, for it may be regarded as a general rule, that the arrangement of primitive settlements, which developed later into cities, was not done in accordance with architectural plans – generally, they had no architects in those early ages – but were dictated by the contour of the ground. Outside the walls of Susanna, however, some attempt at the arrangement described by Herodotus may have been carried out, but extensive excavations can alone settle that point.

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