The tragedy of Calvary: or the minute details of Christ's life from Palm Sunday morning till the resurrection and ascension taken prophecy, history, revelations and ancient writings
by Meagher, Jas. L. (James Luke), 1848-1920
These four great prophets, Isaias, Jeremias, Ezechiel, and Daniel, are called the four Evangelists of the Old Testament. The minor prophets are to the number twelve, and they have been compared to the twelve apostles for the wonderful things they foretold about Christ. Osee, " the Saviour," lived in the time of Isaias and prophesied in the kingdom of Israel, of which the capital was Samaria. At the same time Joel, " Jehovah is God," lived in the kingdom of Juda. While these were pouring forth prophetic words, Amos, " a burden-bearer," from being a shepherd, was called by the Holy Spirit to foretell the future. He was born 808 years before Christ, at Tekoa, a little place six miles south of Bethlehem. He exercised his office during the reign of Uzziah king of Juda, and was contemporary with Isaias and the lesser prophets mentioned above.
Abdias, " Servant of the Lord," lived at the same time. Although his prophecy contains but one chapter, being the shortest of all, it yields to none in sublimity of character.
Jonas, "a dove," was born in Galilee, at Geth-Epher, in the days of Jeroboam II., 843 before Christ. This shows that the Pharisees were wrong in saying that no prophet ever came out of Galilee. He was the only Hebrew prophet ever sent to a pagan nation. The Lord sent him to warn the people of Nineveh to do penance for their sins, and he fled away on a ship; a storm rose, the sailors threw him into the sea, and a great marine animal swallowed him, where he lived three days and nights as a type of Christ in the tomb.
Micheas, " Who is like Jehovah ? " was born in the year 916 before Christ, in the days of the bad king Achab. He lived in Samaria and was a contemporary of Elias, Eliseus, and the other prophets of that time He lived with them on Carmel, in the " schools of the prophets " they had established. He foretold the Babylonian Captivity, the coming of Christ. He denounced the bad kings and the Hebrews for their sins, and foretold that the impious Achab would be killed in battle. The king of Israel, then living in Samaria, threw him into prison, where he was fed on bread and water till he died.
Nahum, " the Comforter," was born at Elcese in Galilee in the days of Manasses the king, but the exact time is not given either in the Scriptures or in the Hebrew traditions. It was probably in the times of Habacuc and Joel. He foretold the destruction of the Assyrian kingdom. He saw his words come to pass, and lived for long years afterwards.
Habacuc," Love's embrace," was born at Bezocher in the year 582 before Christ, 172 years after the founding of Home and in the 37th year of the Captivity. An Angel brought him from Palestine into Babylonia to Daniel, for he had remained in Judea after the destruction of the Holy City. He foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, the conquest of Chaldea by Cyrus the Persian king, the return of the Jews from the Captivity, and many things relating to Christ. His prayer, in chapter iii. is very fine.
Sophonias is the Greek form of Zephaniah, "the watchman of the Lord," being the son of Chusi, son of Godolias whose father was Amasia. He was born in Sara-batha, in the tribe of Simeon, in the days of Josias. He fore told the punishment which would fall on the Jews for their of crime of idolatry; the calamities which would fall on other nations; the coming of Christ; the conversion of the Gentile nations; the blindness of the Jews, who would not receive their Messiah ; their rejection by God, and their conversion towards the end of the world.
Aggeus, whose name in Hebrew is Haggai, " Festive," was born in Babylonia during the Captivity. The Lord sent him in the second year of Darius', reign to Zorobabel, prince of the Hebrews, and to Jesus the high priest to exhort them to begin again the building of the second Temple, which they had left off, because of the opposition of the Samaritans, telling them that this second Temple would be more glorious than the first, erected by Solomon, because the Messiah, the future Christ, would honor it with His presence. Then he passes on to the glories of the Church, and the superiority of the New Testament over the Old.
Zacharias, in Hebrew Zechariah, " Jehovah is renowned," was one of the last of the prophets. He foretold many things about Christ. He reproved the Jews for their sins, and they killed him in the Temple, at the west of the great altar of sacrifice, near the door leading into the Holy of Holies. Christ denounced the Jews in withering terms for this crime. (Matt, xxiii. 35; Luke xi. 51.)
There were twenty-five persons of this name mentioned in the Scriptures. Isaias the prophet mentions this prophet five times, he being contemporary with him.
Malachias, "Jehovah's Messenger," in the fifth century before Christ, last of the prophets, lived under Darius Hystaspes, king of Persia, when the second Temple was being built in Jerusalem. He denounces the priests, who despising the Lord's name offer polluted sacrifices, and foretells the coming of the Baptist, the preaching and works of Christ, the rejection of the Jews, and the sacrifices of the clean oblation among the nations from the rising to the setting of the sun.
After him no prophet spoke to Israel, and for four centuries the Jews were led by the Rabbis, Scribes and Pharisees.
The Scribes and Pharisees held, that with the written word of the Old Testament, came down traditions mentioned often in the Gospels; (Matt. xv. 8. 3, 6; Mark vii. 3, 5, 8, 9, 18; Acts vi. 14.) that these had equal weight with, and should be received as the written word of the Old Testament, which they explain. The word tradition is not found in the Old Testament.
We do not always understand what a legend or tradition is in the Orient. It is not like a changing, vague tradition handed down from our fathers. Before writing was known, in all the East, the leading man, the sheik of the tribe, gathered the children around him every week, and told them the religious truths, the history of the tribe, the glories of their fathers. At weddings and meetings the stories were retold. If a single change was made in a word, all the people cried out, the speaker, was decried. Nothing was changed, nothing received, except what had been handed clown. The story never varied from age to age.
A priest from Babylon, head of 2.000 families, told the writer, that as lie was the eldest son, he was both leader and religious teacher of his tribe. Every Sunday he gathered the children around him, while their parents stood by, and he told them the history of their nation. He could go back almost to the clays of Noe. He told the the very places from which came the tribes of white men, who first settled Europe, Asia and Africa. He went beyond all history. He said that was the way Abraham and the partriarchs taught their children, till Moses gathered up these histories in the book of Genesis.