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



“THE God of nature has written His existence in all 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. EB v.3

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; 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: for in Him we live and move and have our being.” 1 EB v.4

“God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.” 2 “There is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” 3 “The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will.” 5 “He removeth kings, and setteth up kings”: “declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: calling from a far country the man that executeth my counsel.” “He is the Governor among the nations.” EB v.5

“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. For it is evident that a proper study of history can be made only upon the basis and with the guidance of the word of God—the Bible. Thus studied, history proves itself to be one of the richest fields of the truest philosophy. In truth, what real value is there, or can there be, in any study of history without the philosophy of it? And what philosophy of it can be really valuable, other than the true philosophy of it? And what philosophy of world-empire or world-history can be the certainly true, but that which is given in the word and wisdom of Him who has been present over it all and through it all; Who was there before any of it was, and Who will be there after it shall all be past? EB v.6

Indeed, History has been well defined as “Philosophy teaching by example.” But upon this, the important question is: What philosophy? Shall it be a mere human philosophy, or rather theory, conjured up and pressed into the example, or even extracted from the example? Or shall it be the divine philosophy revealed, and thus preceding all, and so be really Philosophy teaching by example? A theory contrived and history drawn to and fitted upon that theory, though it might form a fine essay or even an interesting book, could never in any true sense be the philosophy of history: while the pages of historical works everywhere give all too abundant evidence of deductions drawn and explanations offered that are altogether inconclusive, and far from being the true philosophy of the case. This serious lack in the writing of history was forcibly remarked by Dr. Johnson in 1775, in words that are worth repeating: “That certain kings reigned, and that certain battles were fought, we can depend upon as true; but all the colouring, all the philosophy of history, is conjecture.” Without the Bible, and taking history as a whole,—the history of the world,—this is unquestionably true. EB vi.1