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every head is baldness, and every beard is cut off. In their streets they gird themselves with sackcloth. On the tops of their houses, and in their streets every one mourns, weeping abundantly. Heshbon crieth out, and Elealeh. Their voice is heard even unto Jahaz. The armed men of Moab cry out! Their soul trembleth within them. My heart crieth out for Moab! Her fugitives are at Zoar, at Eglath Shelishyah. They ascend the slope of Luhith with weeping. In the way to Horonaim they raise up a cry of destruction. The waters of Nimrim are desolate! The hay is withered away! The grass faileth! There is no green thing! Therefore the abundance which they have secured and laid up, they carry away with them over the “ brook of the willows." The cry is gone round about the borders of Moab. The howling has reached unto the two Eglaths! The howling thereof has come to Beer-Elim! For the streams of Dimon are full of blood ! For I am bringing upon Dimon further sorrow, even a lion upon those of Moab that escape, and upon the remnant of the country !

(Ch. xv. 1-9.) Message, concerning the conduct of Moab.

“Send ye the tribute of lambs from the ruler of your land, even from Sela, through the wilderness, unto the Mount of the daughter of Zion.” An Embassy from Moab.

It shall come to pass that like wandering birds, like a scared nest, the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of the Arnon, saying :

“ Take counsel : execute justice. Make thy shade as the night in the midst of the noon-day. Hide the outcasts. Betray not him that fleeth to thee.

Let mine outcasts, even Moab's, dwell with thee. Be thou a covert to them

from the face of the spoiler! For now the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth; the oppressors are consumed out of the land. In mercy the throne is established. He that sitteth upon it of the House of David judgeth in truth; he seeks justice, and furthers righteousness." The Answer to the Embassy.

“We have heard of the pride of Moab, of his overconfidence, of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his anger. But his boastings amount to nothing! Therefore shall Moab howl for Moab: every one shall howl. For the grape-cakes of Kir-Haresheth shall ye mourn, for they are utterly stricken. The fields of Heshbon languish, and the vine of Sibmah! The rulers of the nations have broken down the best plants thereof, which have come even unto Jazer : they twined through the desert: her branches were stretched out, they have gone over to the sea. Therefore I will weep with the weeping of Jazer for the vine of Sibmah. I will water thee with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh ! The shouting for thy summer fruits and for thy harvest has ceased! Gladness and joy are taken away from the fertile field. And in the vineyards there is no singing, neither shouting. The treaders tread out no wine in the presses. I have made their shouting to cease. Wherefore my bowels sound as a harp for Moab, and mine inward parts for Kir. Heresh. And it shall come to pass when Moab appears weary on his high place, when he enters into his sanctuary to pray, that he shall not prevail. The Prophet's Final Word.

This is the Word which the Lord hath already spoken concerning Moab: but the Lord hath now declared, saying, “Within three years, reckoned as the years of an hireling,

the glory of Moab shall be despised, with all the multitude of the great, and the remnant shall be very small and feeble.

(Ch. xvi. 1-14.)

2

again."

3. The Message concerning Edom.

An oracle of silence (Dumah).—One is calling to me out of Mount Seir, “Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?”

The watchman replies: “The morning cometh, and also the night. If ye will enquire, enquire. Return and come

(Ch. xxi. 11-12.) 4. The Message concerning Arabia.

Ye lodge in the evening in the thickets, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim. The inhabitants of the district of Tema brought water to him that was thirsty; they provided bread for thoše that had escaped : even for those who had fled from the sword, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the horrors of war.

This is the word which the Lord hath spoken unto me:“Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, all the glory of Kedar shall fail : and the remnant of the number of archers, the men of might of the Children of Kedar, shall be diminished : for the Lord God of Israel hath spoken it.”

(Ch. xxi. 13-17.) 5. The Message concerning Damascus and Ephraim.

The captivity of Israel declared.—Behold Damascus is taken away from being a city! It is being made a heap of ruins! The towns of Aroer are forsaken : they are for flocks, which shall lie down, and no one shall make them afraid. The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim : the kingdom from Damascus; and the rest of Syria shall be as

the glory of the Children of Israel, saith the Lord of Hosts : for then it shall come to pass that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean. And it shall be as when the reaper gathereth the standing corn, and his hand reapeth the ears, yea, it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the Valley of Rephaim. Yet a gleaning shall be left in it, as at the beating of the olives, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in its outmost fruitful branches (saith the Lord of Hosts). In that day man shall look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. He shall not look to the altars and to the work of his own hands, neither shall he respect that which his fingers have made, either the Astartes, or the Sungods. In that day shall his strong cities be like the forsaken places of the Hivites, and the Amorites, which they abandoned before the Children of Israel ; and there shall be desolation. For thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the Rock of thy strength. Thou hast planted Adonis-groves, and didst set them with strange slips. In the day that thou didst plant, thou didst make a hedge around it, and in the morning thou didst cause thy seed to blossom. But the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief, and desperate sorrow ! (Ch. xvii. 1-11.).

PART VII.

of

THE REIGN OF HEZEKIAH: HIS REFORMS: HIS SICKNESS:

AND THE ASSYRIAN INVASIONS (722-693 B.c.). Hezekiah's Reformation and the Military Events

his Reign. Twenty and five years old was Hezekiah when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zechariah. And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father did. He removed the High places, and brake the images, and cut down the Asherahs, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made (for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it), and he called it a piece of brass. He put his trust in the Lord God of Israel : so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. For he clave to the Lord. He departed not from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses. And the Lord was with him, and he prospered whithersoever he went forth.

He rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not. He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen, even unto the fortified town.

And it came to pass in the reign of Hoshea, king of Israel, that the king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it. At the end of a siege of three years they took it, even in the first year of Hezekiah, that is, the ninth year of Hoshea, king of Israel, Samaria was taken.

(2 Kings xviii. 1-10.)

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