And they shall make a spoil of your riches, and make a prey of your merchandise: and they shall break down your walls…
Scholars and artists have mourned for ages over the almost universal destruction of the works of ancient genius. I suppose that many a second-rate city, in the time of Christ, possessed a collection of works of surpassing beauty, which could not be equalled by all the specimens now existing that have been discovered. The Alexandrian library is believed to have contained a greater treasure of intellectual riches than has ever since been hoarded in a single city. These, we know, have all vanished from the earth. The Apollo Belvidere and the Venus de Medicis stand in almost solitary grandeur to remind us of the perfection to which the plastic art of the ancients had attained. The Alexandrian library furnished fuel for years for the baths of illiterate Moslems. I used myself frequently to wonder why it had pleased God to blot out of existence these magnificent productions of ancient genres It seemed to me strange that the pail of oblivion should thus be thrown over all to which man, in the flower of his age, had given birth. But the solution of this mystery is found, I think, in the remains of Herculaneum and Pompeii. We discover that every work of man was so penetrated by corruption, every production of genius was so defiled with uncleanness, that God, in introducing a better dispensation, determined to cleanse the world from the pollution of preceding ages. As when all flesh had corrupted his way, He purified the world by the waters of the flood, so, when genius had covered the earth with images of sin, He overwhelmed the works of ancient civilisation with a deluge of barbarism. It was too bad to exist: and He swept it all away.
Parallel VersesKJV: And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water.
WEB: They shall make a spoil of your riches, and make a prey of your merchandise; and they shall break down your walls, and destroy your pleasant houses; and they shall lay your stones and your timber and your dust in the midst of the waters.