The Empires of the Bible from the Confusion of Tongues to the Babylonian Captivity


PREFACE (1897 edition)

[This Preface was not in the 1904 edition, but was expanded and renamed the Introduction.] “THE God of nature has written His works, and His law in the heart of man.” Also He has written His character in the Bible, and His providence among the nations.He “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;” “He divided to the nations their inheritance;” “that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us.” EB iv.1

“God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.” “There is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” “The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will.” “He removeth kings, and setteth up kings” calling from a far country the man that executes His counsel. EB iv.2

“History, therefore, with its dusty and moldering pages, is to us as sacred a volume as the book of nature”; because history properly studied is truly the study of the grand purposes of God with men and nations. It is evident,therefore, that the proper study of history can be made only upon the basis of the word of God—the Bible. Upon that basis this history is composed. In the nature of the case the empires named, or noticed, in the Bible are the most important. Consequently to follow the Biblical course of empire must be the most instructive. EB iv.3

This work is not intended as a means of setting forth any particular views of any one. It is simply the bringing together from the best obtainable sources, of the leading facts in the history of the empires of the Bible, that the plain lessons which those facts teach, may be discernible to all who read. EB iv.4

The effort has not been so much to write a history, as to compile a history from the best that have been already written. And as the period herein studied is that which is covered by the Bible and the inscriptions, the history of Babylonia, Egypt, Israel, and Assyria, is taken almost wholly from these sources. This is not done in a way to tell in other language the story that is related in those documents, nor to tell about that story; but in such a way that the reader may have the history as it is told in the Bible and the inscriptions themselves. Thus the reader may know that he has before him not only the very words of the best authorities of that period, but of the only authorities, because written by the original actors themselves. By thus weaving together in one connected story, the history in the Bible and the inscriptions, it is hoped that the study of both the Bible and the history will take on a new interests in the mind of whomsoever shall read this book. EB v.1

The volume now issued covers the period from the Deluge to the Babylonian Captivity. The second volume will cover the period from Nebuchadnezzar to the Fall of the Roman Empire. And a third volume will reach from the fall of Rome to our own day. If, however, anything should prevent the issue of the other two volumes, this one will be found complete in itself, as a history of the most ancient times. EB v.2