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of Sheba; as Sheba, a grandson of Cush;* Sheba, the son of Joktan of the line of Shem;t and Sheba, son of Joksham, and grandson of Abraham.f These all settled in Arabia; "and perhaps most of them in the southern parts of it." There was a country of this name. Thence it is supposed some of their descend. ants crossed the Red Sea, and peopled Abyssinia.|| Here I apprehend is the place designed by the Sheba under consideration. The queen of Sheba came to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Solomon's reign was a type of the Millennium. And his visit from the queen of Sheba may be viewed as a kind of prelude to the early aid Sheba is to afford to the house of Israel at, or after, their restoration. In Psalm lxxii, where the reign of Solomon and the Millennium are unitedly predicted, one as type, and the other as antitype, we read, verse 10; The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Here are Tarshish and Sheba connected, as in the text under consideration. In the afore noted prediction of the restoration and conversion of the house of Israel, Isa. lx, where the isles and ships of Tarshish are first to wait on God, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them unto the name of the Lord, it is predicted, verse 6, All they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and incense.
Where then is this Sheba? Whence did the queen of Sheba come to hear the wisdom of Solomon? Brown says it is not agreed whether she came from Sheba in Arabia Felix, or from a place of this name in Abyssinia. In favor of its being the latter, he observes, that Abyssinia abounds with just such kind of treasures as that queen brought to king Solomon. And she is said to have come from the uttermost parts of the earth; i.e. the uttermost parts then known to the Jews. But Abyssinia was then known to the Jews, and was the southernmost nation then known by them. Sheba in Arabia was not so far distant. In Abyssinia their language and religion are similar to those of the Jews. And that people have a tradition, that a queen of theirs in ancient times visited king Solomon. And they fondly relate a number of things relative to this event. These things render it most highly probable, that the Sheba sought was in Abyssinia. The Sheba in the text was no doubt used to denote the country in which it was situated, under whatever name it may now be known. And it must appear highly probable that Abyssinia is the place designed. This is a large country in Africa, south of Egypt; bounded east by the Red Sea; 900 miles in length; 840 in breadth; and is an important part of Ethiopia. “This spacious empire (says a historian) contains a great mixture of people, of various relig. ions; Pagans, Jews, and Mohammedans; but the main body of the natives are professed Christians, who hold the Scriptures to be the sole rule of faith. Their emperor is supreme, as well in ecclesiastical, as in civil matters. The patriarch is the highest ecclesiastical dignitary in this empire.-- This patriarch is by his clergy called Abuna, the Hebrew word for our father. The next order of ecclesiastics—is a kind of Jewish Levites, who assist in all public offices in the church. They boast that they are of Jewish extraction; and pretend to imitate the service of the Jewish temple. They have other priests of various orders. They use different forms of baptism; and keep both Saturday and the first day of the week as a Sabbath. They are circumcised, and abstain from swine's flesh.— Their Divine service consists in reading the Scriptures, administering the Eucharist, and hearing some homilies of the fathers."*
* Gen. x, 7.
+ Gen. x, 27. Gen. XXV, 3.
§ Brown. || See Pool on Joel iii, 8, and Brown on the word Sheba.
It was from this country, it is believed, that the pious eunuch came to Jerusalem to worship, to whose chariot Philip was commanded by the Holy Ghost to join himself.f Milner upon this event observes; “This Ethiopia seems to be that part of the country whose metropolis is called Meroe, situated in a large island encompassed by the Nile, and the rivers Astapus and Astabora. For in these parts, as the elder Pliny informs, queens had a long time governed under the title of Candace."*
* II. Adams's View of Religion, p. 363,-
+ Acts viii, 26,
This eunuch was said to be a man of great authority under Candace, queen of Ethiopia. And his coming up to Jerusalem to worship indicates, that some peculiar acquaintance then subsisted between his nation and the Jews. This was probably the case ever after the visit of their queen to king Solomon. How many of the Jews might flee thither after their dispersion by the Romans, we know not. But multitudes of Jews now reside there. Accordingly we read, of the time of their restoration, (Isa. xi, 11,) And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, (Ethiopia) and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the isles of the sea. The Cush or Ethiopia here mentioned is among the places, from which God will set himself to recover his people, the Jews.' And it seems the Ethi. opians will be so far from being disposed to pursue after them, or unite in a coalition against them, that they will be found operating in a coalition of powers in their behalf, and will early share in the blessings of the Millennium. Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.t From beyond the rivers of Ethio. pia my suppliants shall bring mine offering, even the daughter of my dispersed. All they from Sheba shall come. And he shall live; and to him shall be given the gold of Sheba.|| These predictions seem to indicate, that Sheba, or Abyssinia, will be of some note in favor of the Jews upon their return to Palestine. Sheba is mentioned first in the coalition, in the text under consideration; Sheba, and Dedan, and the mer. chants of Tarshish. And the repeated mentioning of
* Church Hist. vol. i, p. 54. Zech. iii, 10. $ Isa. Ix, 6.
+ Psalm Ixviii, 31.
· || Psalm lxxii, 15.
the latter as beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, or of Sheba, seems to indicate some connexion between the Ethiopians, and this mercantile, naval power, in aid of the Jews.
Dedan is another power in this coalition. We find two of this name among the early settlers of the world; Dedan a brother of Sheba, and grandson of Cush;* and Dedan a brother to another Sheba, and grandson of Abraham.t These both settled in Arabia; the former on the west side of the Persian gulf, in Arabia Felix, where there is a city Dedan.f The other Dedan probably gave name to the city Dedan on the frontiers of Idumea. The Dedanites were formerly of some note as merchants trading in the fairs of Tyre.s But probably no correct genealogy is now to be found of their posterity. No doubt they mingled with the other tribes of Arabia. The Dedan in the text will probably be found to mean some people inhabiting Arabia Felix, and the southeastern parts of Arabia; and is the same with Seba, found in connexion with the kings of Tarshish and Sheba, who are engaged in favor of the Jews, at the time of their restoration. The kings (or powers) of Tarshish, and of the isles, shall bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.li Here are three powers, connected in the same object, at the same period, with the three powers in the text under consideration. Must not the powers then be the same? Two of them are of the same name. And we must suppose the third to be the same with the Dedan in the text. A rational account can be given for this changing of names. It has been noted, that several by the name of Sheba settled early in Arabia; and some of them in the southern parts of it; whose descendants emigrated, and peopled Abyssinia. Those who remained were known by the name of Sabeans, or Seba. Dedan, it has been observed, settled in the same region. And no doubt his descendants intermixed, and became one people with the Sabeans.
And the subsequent inhabitants of that country were called Şabeans, or Seba; and Dedanites, or Dedan. A tribe of the Sabeans in the time of Job, infested Arabia Deserta, and robbed him of his cattle.* But most of the Sabeans probably dwelt farther southeast.f These Sabeans are mentioned in Joel iii, 8, in a sublime prediction of the battle of the great day; which seems to indicate that the Sabeans will then be present in some kind of opposition to the enemies of the Jews on that occasion. The Most High announces to the nations to be convened to the valley of Jehoshaphat, that their children shall be sold to the Sabeans, a people far off Repeatedly we find in the predictions of the salvation of the Jews, in the last days, Sheba and Seba connect. ed in their behalf. I gave Ethiopia and Seba jor thee:1 The same with Sheba and Seba, as shown be. fore. The merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee. Here then are the Sheba and Seba, connected with the kings of Tarshish and of the isles, Psalm lxxii, 10, in aid of the Jews, after their restoration: And the Sheba and Dedan, in the same connexion with the merchants of Tarshish, with their lions, must be the same.
The merchandise of the Sabeans shall come over unto thee. The people of the southeast of Arabia, as well as in Mecca, have been famed for trading with the Turkish caravans, in balm, manna, myrrh, cassia, aloes, frankincense, spikenard, cinnamon, pepper, cadamum, oranges, lemons, pomegranates, figs, honey, wax, and other articles. The city of Bassora, at the head of the Persian gulf, in Irac Arabia, is one centre of this trade. “Here are many Jews.”|| Probably there are Jews in Arabia Felix, as well as in Abyssinia. In the enumeration of nations, from which devout men were at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, (Acts ii, 5-11,) are mentioned Arabians. And more went thither in after days. A writer remarks; "Egypt and Arabia were filled with Jews, who had 'fled into these
* Job i, 15. + See Pool on Joel iii, 8. | Isa, xliii, 3. § Isa. xlv, 14.
|| Morse's Gaz.