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of Nineveh was not yet called king of Assyria, but king of Nineveh only." I answer, Chedorlaomer is called in Scripture only king of Elam, though nations about nine hundred miles distant from that city were subject to him; for so far we must compute from Elam to Canaan. But, “ the fast kept to avert the threatenings of the prophet, was not published in several nations, nor in all Assyria, but only in Nineveh."* I answer: the Ninevites and their king only fasted, because the threatenings of Jonah were not against Assyria, nor against the nations that served the king of Nineveh, but against the city of Nineveh only." But, 4. “ Homer does not mention, and therefore knew nothing of an Assyrian empire.” If I were to consider at large how little the Assyrian empire extended towards those nations, with which IIomer was concerned, it would be no wonder that he did not mention this empire in his account of the Trojan war, or travels of l'lysses; yet since it can in no wise be con
* Gen. xiy.
• Newton's Chron. p. 270. · Newton's ('hron. p. 270.
cluded that Homer knew no kingdoms in the world, but what he mentioned in his
poems, I think I need not enlarge much in answer to this objection,
There is one objection more of our learned author which ought more carefully to be examined; for,
6. He contends, that “ the Assyrians were a people' no ways considerable, when Amos prophesied in the reign of Jeroboam, the son of Joash, about ten or twenty years before the reign of Pul; for God then threatened to raise up a nation against Israel. The nation here intended was the Assyrian, but it is not once named in all the book of Amos. In the prophesies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Zechariah, after the empire was grown up, it is openly named upon all occasions. But as Amos names not the Assyrians in all his prophecy; so it seems most probable, that the Assyrians made no great figure in his days: they were to be raised
Newton's Chron. p. 271.
up against Israel after he prophesied. The true import of the Hebrew word, which we translate raise up, expresses, that God would raise
up the Assyrians from a condition lower than the Israelites, to a state of power superior to them ; but since the Assyrians were not in this superior state when Amos prophesied, it must be allowed, that the Assyrian empire began and grew up after the days of Amos." This is the argument in its full strength: my answer to it is; the nation intended in the prophecy of Amos was not the then Assyrian, I mean not the Assyrian, which flourished and was powerful in the days of Amos. Sir Isaac Newton says, that Amos prophesied ten years before the reign of Pul. Pul was the father of Sardanapalus;' therefore the Assyrian king, in whose reign Amos prophesied, was probably the grandfather of Sardanapalus; but it was not any of the descendants of these kings, nor any of the possessors of their empire, who were to afflict the Jews. Their empire was to be dissolved; and we find it
- Usher's Chronol.
was so on the death of Sardanapalus, and a new empire was to be raised on its ruins, which was to grow from small beginnings to great power. Tiglath-Pileser, who had been deputy-governor of Media, under Sardanapalus, was raised first to be king of part of the dominions which had belonged to the Assyrian empire; and some time after his rise, he conquered Syria, took Damascus, and reduced all that kingdom under his dominion. Thus he began to fulfil the prophecy of Amos, and to afflict the Jews from the entering in of Hamath;' for Hamath was a country near Damascus, and here he began his invasions of their land;" some time after this he seized all that belonged to Israel beyond Jordan, and went forward towards Jerusalem, and brought Ahaz under tribute. After the death of Tiglath-Pileser, his son Salmanezer conquered Samaria; and after him Sennacherib took several of the fenced cities of Judah, laid siege to Lachish, threatened Jerusalem, and reduced Hezekiah to pay him tribute, and marched through
· Amos vi. 14.
Prideaux Connect. vol, i, b, i.
the land against Egypt. Under him the prophecy of Amos may be said to have been completed, and the affliction of the Israelites carried on to the river of the Wilderness, i. e. to the river Sihor at the entrance of Egypt on the Wilderness of Etham. Thus the Israelites were indeed greatly afflicted by the kings of the Assyrian empire; but not by kings of that Assyrian empire which flourished in the days of Amos, but of another empire of Assyria, which was raised up after his days, upon the ruins and dissolution of the former. The whole strength of our great author's argument lies in this fallacy. He supposes what is the point to be proved; namely, that there was but one Assyrian empire, and so concludes from Amos’ having intimated that an Assyrian empire should be raised after his time, that there was no Assyrian empire in and before his time; whereas the truth is, there were two Assyrian empires, different from each other, not only in the times of their rise and continuance, but in the extent of their dominions, and the countries which were subject to them,
x Amos ubi sup.