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23. And the Lord was gracious unto them, and In the second year of Joash son of Jehoahaz king

& ver. 25.

trent down,

From ope

Syria : for thou shalt smite the Syrians in rAphek, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither till thou have consumed them.

cast he them from his presence as yet. 18 And he said, Take the arrows. And he took 24 So Hazael king of Syria died; and Ben-hadad them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite his son reigned in his stead. upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. 25 And Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz, tookt

19 And the man of God was wroth with him, again, out of the hand of Ben-hadad, the son of and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six Hazael, the cities which he had taken out of the times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst hand of Jehoahaz his father by war: three times consumed it; whereas now thou shalt smite Syria did Joash beat him, and recovered the cities of but thrice.

Israel. 20 And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the

CHAPTER XIV. coming in of the year.

This chapter continues the history of the succession in the kingdoms both of Judah

apd Israel. 1. In the kingdom of Judah, bere is the entire history (as much as 21 And it came to pass, as they were burying

is recorded in this book) of Ainaziah's reign ; his good character, v. 1-4;) the a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men ; and Justice he executed on the murderers of his father, (v. 5, 6 ;) his victory over

the Edomites, (v. 7:) his war with Juash, and his defeat in that war, (v. they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha : and 14;) his fall, at last, by a conspiracy against him, (v. 17-20;) and the beginwhen the man was * let down, and touched the bones

niug of the history of Azariah, 1.21, 22 II. In the kingdom of Israel, the con

clusion of the reign of Joash, (r. 15, 16,) and the entire history of Jeroboam his of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet. son, the second of that name, v. 23-29. How many great men are made to 22 But Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all

Bland in a little compass in God's book! the days of Jehoa haz.

of Israel, reigned Amaziah, the son of Joash had compassion on them, and had respect unto king of Judah. them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, 2 He was twenty and five years old when he bepi Rings 20. 26.

rc. 8. 12. ver. 3. • Ex. 2. 24, 25. I face. u Gen. 6. 3. returned and took. o ver, 18, 19. a c. 13. 10. 6 2 Chr. i Gen. 17. 2-5. Ex. 32. 13. Neh. 9. 32. Ps. 106, 45.

23. 1, sc. as if he had been a child that never drew a bow before, Elisha life to another dead body, v. 21. This great miracle, though put his hands upon the king's hands, to signify that in all his ex very briefly related, was a decided proof of his mission, and a peditions against the Syrians, he must look up to God for direc- confirmation of all his prophecies. It was also a plain indication tion and strength; must reckon his own hands not sufficient for of another life after this; when Elisha died, there was not an him, but go on, in a dependence upon divine aid ; He teacheth end of him, for then he could not have done this. my hands to war, Ps. 18. 34.–144. 1. The trembling hands of a ration we may infer existence. By this it appeared that ihe dying prophet, as they signified the concurrence and communi- Lord was still the God of Elisha, iherefore Elisha still lived, cation of the power of God, gave this arrow more force than the for he is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And it may, hands of the king in his full strength. The Syrians had made perhaps, have a reference to Christ, by whose death and burial themselves masters of the country that lay eastward, ch. 10. 33. the grave is made to all believers a safe and happy passage to Thitherward therefore the arrow is directed, and such an inter- life. It likewise intimated that though Elisha was dead, yet, pretation given by the prophet of the shooting of this arrow, in the virtue of the promises made by him, Israel's interests, ihough shot in one respect, at random, as made it, (1.) A com- though they seemed quite sunk and lost, should revive and mission to the king to attack the Syrians, notwithstanding their fourish again. The neighbours were carrying the dead body power and possession. (2.) A promise of success therein: it of a man to the grave, and, fearing to fall into the hands of the is the arrow of the Lord's deliverance, even the arrow of deliver- Moabites, a party of whom they saw at a distance near the ance from Syria. It is God that commands deliverance; and place where the body was to be interred, they laid the corpse in when he will effect it, who can hinder? The arrow of deliverance ihe next convenient place, which proved to be Elisha's sepulis his. He shools out his arrows, and the work is done, Ps. chre. The dead man, upon touching his bones, revived, and it 18. 14. Thou shall smite the Syrians in Aphek, where they is likely, went home again with his friends. Josephus relates are now encamped, or where they are to have a general ren the story otherwise; That some thieves, having robbed and dezvous of their forces, till thou have consumed those of them murdered an honest traveller, ihrew his dead body into Elisha's that are vexatious and oppressive to thee and thy kingdom." grave, and it immediately revived. Elijah was honoured in

(2.) To strike with the arrows, v. 18, 19. The prophet having his departure, Elisha was honoured after his departure. God in God's name assured him of victory over the Syrians, he will thus dispenses honours as he pleases, but, one way or other, now try him what improvement he will make of his victories, the rest of all the saints will be glorious, Is. 11. 10. It is good whether he will push them on with more zeal than Ahab did, being near the saints, and having our lot with them both in life when Ben-hadad lay at his mercy. For the trial of this, he and death. bids him smite with the arrows on the ground ; " Believe them II. The sword of Joash king of Israel; and we find it sucbrought to the ground by the arrow of the Lord's deliverance, cessful against the Syrians. and laid at thy feet; and now show me what thou wilt do to them 1. The cause of his success was God's favour; (v. 23,) The when thou hast them down, whether thou wilt do as David did Lord was gracious to them, had compassion on them in their when God gave him the necks of his enemies, beat them small as miserics, and respect unto them. The several expressions here the dust before the wind," Ps. 18. 40, 42. The king showed not of the same import, call upon us to observe and admire the that eagerness and fame which one might have expected upon triumphs of divine goodness in the deliverance of such a prothis occasion, but smote thrice, and no more. Either out of voking people. It was of the Lord's mercies, that they were foolish tenderness to the Syrians, he smote as if he were afraid of not consumed ; because he would not destroy them as yer. He hurting them, or, at least, of ruining them; willing to show mercy foresaw they would destroy themselves, at last, but, as yet, he to them that never did, nor ever would, show mercy to him or his would reprieve them, and give them space to repent. The people. Or, perhaps, he smote but thrice, and very coldly, slowness of God's processes against sinners must be construed because he thought it but a silly thing, that it looked idle and to the honour of his ercy, not the impeachment of his justice. childish for a king to beat the floor with his arrows; and thrice 2. The effect of his success, was, Israel's benefit. He rewas often enough for him to play the fool, merely to please the covered out of the hands of Ben-hadad the cities of Israel which prophet. But, by contemning the sign, he lost the thing signi- the Syrians were possessed of, v. 25, This was a great kindfied, sorely to the grief of the dying prophet, who was wroth ness to the cities themselves, which were hereby brought from with him, and told him he should have smitien five or six times. under the yoke of oppression; and to the whole kingdom, which Not being strajtened in the power and promise of God, why was much strengthened by the reduction of those cities. should he be straitened in his own expectations and endeavours? Thrice Joash heat the Syrians, just as often as he had struck Note, It cannot but be a trouble to good men, to see those they the ground with the arrows, and then a full stop was put to the wish well to, stand in their own light, and forsake their own course of his victories. Many have repented, when it was loo mercies; to see them lose their advantages against their spirit- late, of their distrusts, and the straitness of their desires. ual enemies, and so give them advantage. V. 20—25. We must here attend,

NOTES TO CHAPTER XIV. 1. The sepulchre of Elisha: he died in a good old age, and V.1–7. Amaziah is the king whom here we have an account they buried him; and what follows, shows,

of, the son and successor of Joash: let us take a view of him, 1. What power there was in his life to keep off judgments; 1. In the temple; and there he acted, in some measure, well, for, as soon as he was dead, the bands of the Moabites invaded like Joash, but not like David, v. 3. He began well, but did the land ; not great armies to face them in the field, but roving not persevere. He did that which was right in the sight of the skulking hands, that murdered and plundered by surprise. God Lord, kept up his attendance on God's altars, and his attention has many ways to chastise a provoking people. The king was to God's word, yet not like David. It is not enough to do that apprehensive of danger only from the Syrians, but, behold, the which our pious predecessors did merely to keep up the usage, Moabites invade him. Trouble comes sometimes from that but we must do it as they did it, from the same principle of faith point whence we least feared it. The mentioning of this, and devotion, and with the same sincerity and resolution. It immediately upon the death of Elisha, intimates, that the is here taken notice of, as before, that the high places were not removal of God's faithful prophets is a presage of judgments taken away, v. 4. It is hard to get clear of ihose corruptions, coming. When ambassadors are recalled, heralds may be which, by long usage, have gained both prescription and a expected.

favourable opinion. 2. What power there was in his dead body; it communicated 2. On the bench; and there we havo him doing justice on the

m Prov. 3. 30. 15. 18. 25.8.

tal thy house.
1 Brillen.
13. 12.

gan to reign, and reigned twenty and nine years in banon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Jerusalem: and his mother's naine was Jehoaddan Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there of Jerusalem.

passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and 3 And he did that which was right in the sight irode down the thistle. of the Lord, yet not like David his father: he did 10 Thou hast indeed smitten Edom, and thine according to all things as Joash his father did. heart hath lified thee up: glory of this, and tarry

4 Howbeit the high places were not taken away: at home; for why shouldest thou meddle to thy as yet the people did sacrifice and burnt incense on hurt, that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah the high places.

with thee? 5 And it came to pass, as soon as the kingdom was 11 But Amaziah would not hear. Therefore confirmed in his hand, that he slew his servants Jehoash king of Israel went up; and he and Amadwhich had slain the king his father.

ziah king of Judah looked one another in the face 6 But the children of the murderers he slew not: at "Beth-shemesh, which belongeth 10 Judah. according unto that which is written in the book 12 And Judah was put to the worse before Isof the law of Moses, wherein the Lord commanded, rael; and they fled every man to their tents. saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for 13 And Jehoash king of Israel took Amaziah the children, nor the children be put to death for king of Judah, the son of Jehoash, the son of Ahathe fathers; but every man shall be put to death ziah, at Beth-shemesh, and came to Jerusalem, and for his own sin.

brake down the wall of Jerusalem, from the gate 7 He slew of Edom, in the valley of Salt, ten 'of Ephraim unto the corner gate, four hundred thousand, and took *Selah by war, and called the cubits. name of it Joktheels unto this day.

14 And he took all the gold sand silver, and all 8 Then "Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the vessels that were found in the house of the LORD, the son of Jehoahaz, son of Jehu king of Israel, say- and in the treasures of the king's house, and hosing, Come, let us look one another in the face. tages, and returned to Şamaria.

9 And Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah 15 Now 'the rest of the acts of Jehoash which king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Le- he did, and his might, and how he fought with cc. 12. 3. dc. 12. 20. Deut. 24. 16. f Ez. 18. 4, 20. • or, the rock, Ob. 3.

a Joab, 19. 38. I San. 6. 9, &c. Josh. 15. 38 2Chr. 3.17. &c. 2 Sam. 2. 14. k Judg. 9.8, &c. ? Deut.

o Neh. 8. 16. p Jer. 31, 38. Zech, H. 10. 1 Kinga 7. 51. c. 8.14.2 Chr. 32. 25. 3. 28.2,5; 12. Hab. 2.4. traitors that murdered his father; not as soon as ever he came thistle, a sorry weed; telling him, he was so far from fearing to the crown, lest it should have occasioned some disturbance, him, that he despised him, and scorned as much to have any but he prudently deferred it till the kingdom was confirmed in thing to do with him, or make any alliance with him, as the his hand, v. 5. To weaken a factious party gradually, when it cedar would to match his daughter to a thistle. The ancient is not safe to provoke, often proves the way to ruin it effectually: house of David he thinks not worthy to be named the same day Justice strikes surely by striking slowly, and is often executed with the house of Jehu, though an upstart. How may a humble most prudently, when it is not executed presently. Wisdom man smile to hear two proud and scornful men set their wits on here is profitable to direct. Amaziah did thus, (1.) According work, to vilify and undervalue one another! 2. He foretels to the rule of the law, that ancient rule, that he that sheds man's his fall; a wild beast trode down the thistle, and so put an end to blood, by man shall his blood be shed. Never let traitors or his treaty with the cedar; so easily does Joash think his forces murderers expect to come to their graves like other men: let can crush Amaziah, and so unable does he think him to make them flee to the pit, and let no man slay them. (2.) Under the any resistance. 3. He shows him the folly of his challenge ; limitation of the law. The children of murderers he slew not, Thou hast indeed smitten Edom, a weak, unarmed, undiscibecause the law of Moses had expressly provided that the chil- plined body of men, and therefore thinkest thou canst carry all dren should nol be put to death for the fathers, v. 6. It is probable before thee, and subdue the regular forces of Israel with as much that this is taken notice of, because there were those about ease; thine heart has lifted thee up." See where the root of all him, that advised him to that rigour, both in revenge, because sin lies; it is in the heart, thence it flows, and that must bear the crime was extraordinary, the murder of a king; and in the blame: it is not providence, the event, the occasion, whatpolicy, that the children might not plot against him, in revenge ever it is, that makes men proud, or secure, or discontented, or of their father's death. But against these insinuations he the like, but it is their own heart that does it, “ Thou art proud opposed the express law of God, (Deut. 24. 16,) which he was of the blow thou hast given to Edom, as if that had made thee to judge by, and which he resolved to adhere to, and trust God formidable to all mankind." Those wretchedly deceive themwith the issue. God visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the selves, that magnify their own performances, and, because they children, because every man is guilty before him, and owes him have been blessed with some little success and reputation, cona death; so that if he require the life for the father's sin, he clude themselves fit for any thing, and no less sure of it. 4. He does no wrong, the sinner having forfeited it already by his counsels him to be content with the honour he had won, and not own: but he does not allow earthly princes to do thus; the to hazard that, by grasping at more, that was out of his reach; children, before them, are innocent, and therefore must not suffer Why shouldest thou meddle to thy hurt, as fools often do, thai as guilty.

will be meddling? Prov. 20. 3. Many would have had wealth 3. In the field; and there we find him triumphing over the and honour enough, if they had but known when they had Edomites, v. 7. Edom had revolted from under the hand of enough; he warns him of the consequence, that it would be Judah in Joram's time, (ch. 8. 22,) now he makes war upon fatal not to himself only, but to his kingdom, which he ought to them to bring them back to their allegiance; kills 10,000, and protect. takes the chief city of Arabia the Stony, called Selah, a rock, III. Amaziah persisted in his resolution, and the issue was and gave it a new name. We shall find a larger account of bad, he had better have larried at home, for Joash gave him this expedition, 2 Chr. 25. 5, &c.

such a look in the face as to put him to confusion; challengers V. 8–14. For soveral successions after the division of the commonly prove to be on the losing side. 1. His army was kingdoms, that of Judah suffered much by the enmity of Israel. routed and dispersed, v. 12. Josephus says, When they were After Asa's time, for several successions, it suffered more by the to engage, they were struck with such a terror, that they did friendship of Israel, and by the alliance and affinity they made not strike a stroke, but every one made the best of his way. with them. But now we meet with hostility between them 2. He himself was taken prisoner by the king of Israel, and again, which had not been for some ages before.

then had enough of looking him in the face. Amaziah's pedi. I. Amaziah, upon no provocation, and without showing any gree comes in here somewhat abruptly, (the son of Joash, the cause of quarrel, challenges Joash into the field ; (v. 8,)“ Come, son of Ahaziah,) because, perhaps, he had gloried in the dignity let us look one another in the face; let us try our strength in of his ancestors, or because he now smarted for their iniquity. battle.” Had he challenged him to a personal duel only, the 3. The conqueror entered Jerusalem, which tamely opened to error had remained with himself, but each must bring all their him, and yet he brake down their wall, (and, is Josephus says, forces into the field, and thousands of lives on both sides must drove his chariot in triumph through the breach,) in reproach to be sacrificed to his capricious humour. Hereby he showed them, and that he might, when he pleased, take possession of himself proud, presumptuous, and prodigal of blood. Some the royal city. 4. He plundered Jerusalem, look away all that think that he intended to avenge the injury which the dismissed was valuable, and returned to Samaria, laden with spoils, v. 14. disgusted Israelites, had lately done to his country, in their It was said of Joash, that he did that which was evil in the sight return, (2 Chr. 25. 13,) and that he had also the vanity to think of the Lord, and of Amaziah, that he did that which was right; of subduing the kingdo:n of Israel, and reuniting it to Judah. and yet Joash triumphs thus over Amaziah ; and why so? A fool's lips thus enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for Because God would show, in Amaziah's fate, that he resists strokes. They that challenge, are chargeable with that begin the proud; or because, whatever they were otherwise, Joash ning of strife, which is as the letting forth of water. He that had lately been respectful to one of God's prophets, (ch. 13, 14,7 is eager either to fight, or to go to law, may perhaps have enough but Amaziah had been abusive to another, (2 Chr. 25. 16 ;) and of it quickly, and be the first that repents it.

God will honour those who honour bim in his prophets, but those I!. Joash sends him a grave rebuke for his challenge, with who despise them, and him in them, shall be lightly esteemed. advice to withdraw it, v. 9, 10. 1. He mortifies his pride, by V. 15–22. Here are three kings brought to their graves in comparing himself to a cedar, a stately tree, and Amaziah to a these few verses,

6 Deut. 32. 36.

c Deut. 9. 14.

Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, and reigned buok of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? förty and one years.,

16 And Jehoash slept with his fathers, and was 24 And he did that which was evil in the sight huried in Samaria with the kings of Israel; and of the Lord: he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam his son reigned in his stead.

Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. 17 And Amaziah the son of Joash king of Ju 25 He restored the coast of Israel from the enterdah lived after the death of Jehoash son of Jehoa-ing of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, accordhaz king of Israel fifteen years.

ing to the word of the Lord God of Israel, which 18 And the rest of the acts of Amaziah, are they he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher, of Judah?

26 For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, 19 Now they made a conspiracy against him in that it was very bitter : for there was not any shut Jerusalem: and he fled to 'Lachish; but they sent up, nor any lett, nor any helper for Israel. after him to Lachish, and slew him there.

27 And the Lord said not that he would blot out 20 And they brought him on horses; and he the name of Israel from under heaven: but he saved was buried al Jerusalem with his fathers, in the them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash. city of David.

28 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all 21 And all the people of Judah took Azariah," that he did, and his might, how he warred, and how which was sixteen years old, and made him king he recovered Damascus, and Hamath, which beinstead of his father Amaziah.

longed to Judah, for Israel, are they not written in 22 He built Elath,' and restored it to Judah, the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. after that the king slept with his fathers.

29 And Jeroboam slept with his fathers, even 23 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah- the son of with the kings of Israel; and Zachariah his son Joash king of Judah, Jeroboam the son of Joash reigned in his stead. . ? Chr. 25. 25, (e. 1 Josh. 10. 31. uc. 15. 13. 2 Chr. 25. I, he is called a Jon. 1. 1; called Jonza, Matt. 12. 39, 40. Urcia. vc. 16. 6. Now he begins to reigo alone. x 1 Kings 12. 29, &c. Ps. Rom. 11. 2, &c. d c. 13. 5. 2 Sam. 8. 6. 1 Kings 11. 24. 2 Chr. 8. 3. After 106. 20. y Num 34. 8. : Deut. 3. 17.

an intei regnum of 11 years, c. 15. 8. 1. Joash king of Israel, v. 15, 16. We attended his funeral for the recovery of their ancient possessions, and (which would once before, ch. 13. 12, 13. But because the historian had contribute no little to their success) assured them of victory. occasion to give a further account of his life and actions, he It is a sign that God has not cast off his people, if he continue again mentions his death and burial.

faithful ministers among them; when Elisha was gone, who 2. Amaziah king of Judah ; 15 years he survived his con- strengthened the hands of Joash, Jonah was sent to cncourage queror the king of Israel, v. 17. A man may live a great while his son. Happy is the land thai has a succession of prophets after he has been shamed, may be thoroughly mortified, (as running parallel with a succession of princes, that the word Amaziah, no doubt, was,) and yet not dead; his acts are said of the Lord may endure for ever; of this Jonah we read to be found written in his annals, (v. 18,) but not his might, for much in that little book of scripture, that bears his name ; it his cruelty when he was a conqueror over the Edomites, and is probable that it was when he was a young man, and fit for his insolence when he challenged the king of Israel, showed him such an expedition, that God sent him to Nineveh, and that it void of true courage. He was slain by his own subjects, who was when he had yet been but a little conversant with the hated him for his male-administration, (v. 19,) and made Jeru-visions of God, that he flew off and fretted as he did; and if so, salem disagreeable to him, the ignominious breach made in this is an undoubted evidence of the forgiveness of his faults their walls being occasioned by his folly and presumption; he and follies, that he was afterward employed as a messenger of fed to Lachish; how long he continued concealed or sheltered mercy to Israel. A commission amounts to a pardon, and he there, we are not told, but, at last, he was there murdered, v. 19. that had himself found mercy, notwithstanding his provocations, No further did the rage of the rebels extend, for they brought could the better encourage them with the hope of mercy noto him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him there among his withstanding theirs. Some that have been foolish and passionancestors,

ate, and have gone about their work very awkwardly at first, 3. Azariah succeeded Amaziah, but not till 12 years after his yet afierward have proved useful and eminent; men must not father's death, for Amaziah died in the 15th year of Jeroboam, be thrown away for every fault. (as appears by comparing v. 23 with v.2,) but Azariah did not 2. By providence; the event was according to the word of begin his reign till the 27th of Jeroboam, (ch. 25. 1 ;) for he was the Lord, his arms were successful, he restored the coast of Israel, but four years old at the death of his father, so that, for 12 years, recovered those frontier towns and countries that lay from till he came to be 16, the government was in the hands of pro- Hamath in the north, to the sea of the plain, that is, the sea of tectors; he reigned very long, (ch. 15. 2,) and yet the account Sodom, in the south, all which the Syrians had possessed themof his reign is here industrinusly huddled up, and broken off selves of, v. 25. Two reasons are here given why God blessed abruptly, v. 22. He built Elath, which had belonged to the them with those victories, (1.) Because the distress was very Edomites, but, it is probable, was recovered by his father, great, which made them the objects of his compassion, v. 26. (v. 7,) efter that the king slept with his fathers, as if that had Though he saw not any signs of their repentance and reformbeen all he did, that was worth mentioning; or rather, it is ation, yet he saw their affliction, that it was very bitter; they that meant of king Amaziah, he did it soon after he died.

lived in those countries which the enemies were masters of, V. 23—29. Here is an account of the reign of Jeroboam the were miserably oppressed and enslaved, and could call nothing second; I doubt it is an indication of the affection and ad their own; the rest, we may suppose, were much impoverished herence of the house of Jehu to the sins of Jeroboam the son of by the frequent incursions the enemy made upon them to plunNebul, who murle Israrl lo sin, that they called an heir-apparent der them, and continually terrified by their threatenings, so to the crown by his name, thinking that an honourable name, that there was none shut up or left, both towns and countries which, in the book of God, is infamous and stigmatized as much were laid waste, and stripped of their wealth, and no helper as any other.

appeared. To this extremity were they reduced, in many I His reign was long, the longest of all the reigns of the parts of the country, in the beginning of Jeroboam's reign, when kings of Israel, he reigned 41 years; yet his contemporary God, in mere pity to them, heard the cry of their affliction, (for Azariah, the king of Judah, reigned longer, even 52 years. no mention is made here or the cry of their prayers,) and wrought This Jeroboam reigned just as long as Asa had done, (1 Kings this deliverance for them by the hand of Jeroboam. Let those 15. 10:) yet one did that which was good, and the other that whose case is pitiable, take comfort from the divine pity: we which was evil. We cannot measure men's characters by the read of God's bowels of mercy, (Is. 63. 15. Jer. 31. 20,) and length of their lives, or of their outward prosperity; there is one that he is full of compassion, Ps. 86. 15. (2.) Because tho event to the righteous and to the wickerl.

decree was not yet gone forth for their utter destruction; he II. His character was the same with that of the rest of those had not as yet said, he would blot out the name of Israel, (v. 27,) kings; he died that which was evil, (v. 24,) for he departed not and because he had not said it, he would not do it: if it be from the sins of Jeroboam; he kept up the worship of the calves, understood of the dispersion of the ten tribes, he did say it, and and never left that, thinking there was no harm in it, because do it, not long after; (reprieves are not pardons :) if of the utter it had been the way of all his ancestors and predecessors : but extirpation of the name of Israel, he never said it, nor will ever a sin is never the less evil in God's sight, whatever it is in do it, for that name still remains under heaven in the Gospel ours, for its bring an ancient usage; and a frivolous plea it Israel, and will, to the end of time; and because they, at prewill be against doing good, that we have been accustomed to do sent, bare that name, which was to have this lasting honour, he evil.

showed them this favour, as well as for the sake of the ancient II. Yet he prospered more than most of them; for though, in honour of that name, ch. 13. 23. that one thing, he did evil in the sight of the Lord, yet, it is Lastly, Here is the conclusion of Jeroboam's reign; we read likely, in other respects, there was some good found in him, (v. 28) of his might, and how he warred; but (v. 29) he slept and therefore God owned him,

with his fathers ; for the mightiest must yield to death, and there 1. By prophecy; he raised up Jonah the son of Amittai, a is no discharge in that war. Galilean, (so much were they mistaken, that said, Out of Many prophets there had been in Israel, a constant succes. Galilee ariseth no prophet, John 7.52,) and by him intimated sion of them in every age, but none of the prophets had left the purposes of his favour to Israel, notwithstanding their any of their prophecies in writing, till those of this age began provocations, encouraged him and his kingdom to take up arms to do it, and their prophecies are part of the canon of scripture ;

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CHAPTER XV.

buried him with his fathers in the city of David:

and Jotham his son reigned in his stead. in this chapter, 1. The history of two of the kings of Judah is briefly recorded. 1. Or Atariah, or Uzziah, v.1-7. 2. ON Jetbam his son, v. 32-35

8 In the thirty and eighth year of Azariah king history of many of the kings of Terrol the reigoed at the same time in of Judah did Zachariah, the son of Jeroboam, reign in short, five in succession, all of whom, except one, went down slain to the pil, and their murderers were their successore. 1. Zechariah, the last of the house over Israel in Samaria six months. of Jehu, reigned six months, ani theu was slain, and succeeded by Shallum, v. 8-12. '2. Shaluun reigned oue muath, and then was slain, and succeeded by

9 And he did that which was evil in the sight Menahem, v. 13–15. 3. Menahem reignast ten years for tyrantized rather of the Lord, as his fathers had done: he departed ben died in his bed, and left his son to succeed him first, and then suffer for him, not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, 1.16-1. 4. Pekabial reigned two years, anil then was slain, aurt succeeded who made Israel to sin. by Pekah, v B-26. 5. Pekah reigned twenty year, and then was slain, and succeeded by Hoshea, the last of all the kings of Israel, (v. 27-31 ;)for things were 10 And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired now working and hastening apace toward the final destruction of that kingdom.

against him, and smote him before the people, and N the twenty and seventh byear of Jeroboam slew shim, and reigned in his stead.

king of Israel, hegan Azariah son of Amaziah 11 And the rest of the acts of Zachariah, beking of Judah to reign.

hold, they are written in the book of the chronicles 2 Sixteen years old was he when he began to of the kings of Israel. reign, and he reigned two and fifty years in Jeru 12 This was the word of the LORD Awhich he salem: and his mother's name was Jecholiah of spake unto Jehu, saying, Thy sons shall sit on the Jerusalem.

throne of Israel unto the fourth generation. And 3 And he did that which was right in the sight so it came to pass. of the Lord, according to all that his father Ama 13 Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in ziah had done;

the nine and thirtieth year of Uzziah 'king of Judah; 4 Save dthat the high places were not removed; and he reigned a * full month in Samaria. the people sacrificed and burnt incense still on the 14 For Menahem the son of Gadi went up from high places.

Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and smote Shallum 5 And the Lord smote the king, so that he the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and slew him, and was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in reigned in his stead. a several house. And Jotham the king's son was 15 And the rest of the acts of Shallum, and his over the house, judging the people of the land. conspiracy which he made, behold, they are written

6 And the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. that he did, are they not written in the book of the 16 Then Menahem smote Tiphsah, and all that chronicles of the kings of Judah?

were therein, and the coasts thereof from Tirzah: 7 So Azariah slept with his fathers; and they because they opened not to him, therefore he smote a c. 14. 21. 2 Chr. 26. 1. b This is the 27th year of Jeroboam's partnership in the

e 2 Chr. 26. 19. There having been na kingitoin with his father, who made him consort at his go og to the Syrian wars. interregnum for 11 years. & as prophesied, Am. 7.9. It is the 16th year of Jeroboam's monarchy. • Callet Trinh, ver. 13, 30, Ấc. 8, 9, called Ozine; and ver. 1, Azariah. a month of days. * 1 King i. 24. it was in the reign of this Jeroboam, that Hosea (who continued ple of the land ; and it was both a comfort to him, and a blessvery long a prophet) began to prophesy, and he was the first ing to his kingdom that he had such a son to fill up his room. that wrote his prophecies, therefore the word of the Lord by him V. 8-31. The best days of the kingdom of Israel were is called the beginning of the word of the Lord, Hos.1.2. Then while the government was in Jehu's family; in his reign, and that part of the word of the Lord began to be written; at the the next three, though there were many abominable corruptions same time, Amos prophesied and wrote his prophecy; soon and miserable grievances in Israel, yet the crown went in sucafter, Micrh, and then Isaiah, in the days of A haz and Heze- cession, the kings died in their beds, and some care was taken kiah; thus God never left himself without witness, but, in the of public affairs : but now that those days are at an end, the darkest and most degenerate ages of the church, raised up some history which we have in these verses, of about 33 years, to be burning and shining lights in it, to their own age by their represents the affairs of that kingdom in the utmost confusion preaching and living, and a few by their writings to reflect light imaginable ; wo to them that were with child, (v. 16,) and to upon us on whom the ends of the world are come.

them that gave suck in those days, for then must needs be

great tribulations, when, for the transgression of the land, many NOTES TO CHAPTER XV.

were the princes therenf. V.1-9. This is a short account of the reign of Azariah. I. Let us observe something, in general, concerning these 1. Most of it is general, and the same that has been given unhappy revolutions, and the calamities which must needs of others; he began young and reigned long, (v. 2 ;) did, for attend them, these bad times, as they may truly be called. the most part, that which was right, v. 3. It was happy for 1. God had tried the people of Israel both with judgments the kingdom, that a good reign was a long one: only he had and mercies, explained and enforced by his servants the pronot zeal and courage enough to take away the high places, v. 4. phets, and yet they continued impenitent and unreformed, and

2. That which is peculiar, that God smoto him with a le- therefore God justly brought these miseries upon them; as prosy, (v. 5,) is more largely related, with the occasion of it, Moses had warned them, If ye will yet walk contrary to me, I 2 Chr. 26. 16, &c. where we have also a fuller account of the will punish you yet seven times more, Lev 26.21, &c. glories of the former part of his reign as well as of the disgraces 2. God made good his promise 10 Jeho, that his sons, to the of the latter part of it. He did that which was right, as Ama- fourth generation after him, should sit upon the throne of ziah had done ; like him, he began well, but failed before he Israel; which was a greater favour than was shown to any finished. Here we are told, (1.) That he was a leper; the of the royal families either before or after his. God had said greatest of men are not only subject to the common calamities, it should be so, (ch. 10. 30,) and we are told in this chapter but also to the common infirmities, of the human nature ; and (v. 12,) that so it came to pass. See how punctual God is to if they be guilty of any heinous sin, they lie as open as the his promises; these calamilies God long designed for Israel, meanest to the most grievons strokes of divine vengeance. and they deserved them, yet they were not inflicted till that (2.) God smote him with this leprosy, to chastise him for his word had taken effect to the full; thus God rewarded Jebu for presumptuous invasion of the priests' office; if great men be his zeal in destroying the worship of Baal and the house of proud men, some way or other, God will humble them, and Ahab; and yet, when the measure of the sins of the house of make them know he is both above them, and against them, for Jehu was full, God avenged upon it the blood then shed, called he resisteth the proud. (3.) That he was a leper to the day of the blood of Jezreel, Hos. I. 4. his death; though we have reason to think he repented, and the 3. All these kings did that which was evil in the sight of the sin was pardoned, yet, for warning to others, he was continued Lord, for they walked in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat; under this mark of God's di-pleasure as long as he lived, and though at variance with one another, yei, in this, they agreed, perhaps it was for the good of his soul, that he was so. to keep up idolatry, and the people loved io have it so; though (4.) That he dwell in a several house, as being made ceremo- they were emptied from vessel to vessel, that taste remained in Nially unclean by the law, to the discipline of which, though a them, and that scent was not chunged. It was sad indeed, when king, he must submit; he that presumptuously intruded into their government was so often allered, (yet never for the betGod's temple, and pretended to be a priest, is justly shut out ter,) that among all those contending interests, none of them from his own palace, and shut up as a prisoner or a recluse, should think it as much their interest to destroy the calves as ever after. We suppose that his several house was made as others had done to support them. convenient and agreeable as might be ; some transla:e it a free 4. Each of these (except one) conspired against his predehouse, where he had liberty to take his pleasure: but, however, cessor, and slew him, Shallum, Menahem, Pekah, and Hoshra ; it was a great mortification to one that had been so much a man all traitors and murderers, and yet all kings a while; one of of honour, and a man of business, as he had been, to be cut off them ten, another twenty, and another nine years; for God from society, and dwell always in a several house: it would may suffer wickedness to prosper, and to carry a way the almost make life itself a burden, even to kings, though they wealth and honours a while, but, sooner or later, blood shall have never any to converse with but their inferiors; the most have blood, and he that dealt treacherously, shall be dealt contemplative men would soon be weary of it. (5.) That his treacherously with : one wicked man is often made a scourge son was his viceroy in the affairs both of his court, for he was to another, and every wicked man, at length, a ruin to himself. over the house, and of his kingdom, for he was judging the peo 5. The ambition of the great men made the nation miserable

I c.8. 12. Am. 1. 13.

1. I Chr. 5. 26.

• caused to

The money

it ; and all the women 'therein that were with child 25 But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain he ripped up.

of his, conspired against him, and smote him in 17 In the nine and thirtieth year of Azariah king Samaria, in the palace of the king's house, with of Judah began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria. Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his

18 And he did that which was evil in the sight room. of the LORD: he departed not all his days from the 26 And the rest of the acts of Pekahjah, and sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made all that he did, behold, they are written in the book Israel to sin.

of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. 19 And Pulmthe king of Assyria came against 27 In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king of the land: and Menahem gave "Pul a thousand Judah, Pekah Pthe son of Remaliah began to reign talents of silver, that his hand might be with him, to over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years. confirm the kingdom in his hand.

28 And he did thal which was evil in the sight 20 And Menahein fexacted the money of Israel, of the Lord: he departed not from the sins of Jeeven of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man roboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to filty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria: sin. so the king of Assyria turned back, and stayed not 29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel, came there in the land.

Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijón, and 21 And the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all Abel-beth-maachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and that he did, are they not written in the book of the Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of chronicles of the kings of Israel?

9 Naphtali, and carried them capuive to Assyria. 22 And Menahem slept with his fathers : and 30 And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conPekahiah his son reigned in his stead.

spiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and 23 In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah, smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over in the twentieth 'year of Jotham the son of UzIsrael in Samaria, and reigned two years.

ziah. 24 And he did that which was evil in the sight 31 And the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all of the LORD: he departed not from the sins of Je- that he did, behold, they are written in the book of roboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. the chronicles of the kings of Israel. n Hos. 8. 9. c. 14. 5.

After an anarchy for some years, c. 12 1. Hos, 10.3, 7. 15. s The 4th year of come forth. p Is. 7, 1, 4, 9. 13. 9. 1.

Ahaa, the 20th after Joiham had begun to reign : (Isher.) Here is Tiphsah, a city of Israel, barbarously destroyed, with had he in his people, that he durst not meet him as an enemy, all the coasts thereof, by one of these pretenders, (v. 16;) and, but was obliged, at a vast expense, to purchase a peace with no doubt, it was through blood that each of them waded to the him. (2.) Such need bad he of help to confirm the kingdom in throne; nor could any of these kings perish alone. No land his hand, that he made it part of his bargain with him, (a barcan have greater pests, nor Israel worse troubles, than such gain which, no doubt, the king of Assyria knew how to make men as care not how much the welfare and repose of their a good hand of, another time,) that he should assist him against country are sacrificed to their revenge, and affectation of domi- his own subjects that were disaffected to him. nion.

wherewith he purchased his friendship, was a vast sum, no less 6. While the nation was thus shattered by divisions at home, than 1000 talents of silver, (v. 19,) which Menahem exacted, the kings of Assyria, first one, (v. 19,) and then another, (0.29,) it is probable, by military execution, of all the mighty men of came against it, and did what they pleased. Nothing does wealth, very considerately sparing the poor, and laying the more toward the making of a nation an easy prey to a common burden (as was fit) on those that were best able to bear it : enemy, than intestine broils, and contests for the sovereignty ; being raised, it was given to the king of Assyria, as pay for his happy the land where that is settled.

army, 50 shekels of silver for each man in it.

Thus he got 7. This was the condition of Israel, just before they were clear of the king of Assyria for this time; he stayed not to quite ruined, and carried away captives, for that was done in quarter in the land, (v. 20,) but his army now got so rich a the ninth year of Hoshea, the last of these usurpers. If they booty with so little trouble, that it encouraged them to come had, in these days of confusion and perplexity, humbled them again, not long after, when they laid all waste; thus was he selves before God, and sought his face, that final destruction the betrayer of his country, that should have been the promight have been prevented, but when God judgeth, he will tector of it. overcome; these factions, the fruit of an evil spirit sent among 4. Pekahiah, the son of Menahem, succeeded his father, but them, hastened that captivity; for a kingdom, thus divided reigned only two years, and then was treacherously slain by against itself, will soon come to desolation.

Pekah, falling under the load both of his own and of his father's II. Let us take a short view of the particular reigns.

wickedness. It is repeated concerning him, as before, that he 1. Zachariah, the son of Jeroboam, began to reign in the departed not from the sins of Jeroboam : still that is mentioned, thirty-eighth year of Azariah, or Uzziah, king of Judah, v. 8. to show that God was righteous in bringing that destruction Some of the most critical chronologers reckon that between upon them, which came not long after, because they hated to Jeroboam and his son Zachariah, the throne was vacant 22 be reformed, v. 24. Pekah, it seems, had some persons of years, others 11 years, through the disturbances and dissen- figure in his interest, two of them are here named, (v. 25,) and sions that were in the kingdom; and then it was not strange with their help he compassed his design. that Zachariah was deposed before he was well scaled on the 5. Pekah, though he got the kingdom by treason, kept it 20 throne; he reigned but six months, and then Shallum slew him years, (v.27;) so long it was before his violent dealing returned before the people, perhaps, as Cæsar was slain in the senate ; upon his own head; but it returned at last. This Pekah, son or he put him to death publicly as a criminal, with the appro- of Remaliah, (1.) Made himself more considerable abroad bation of the people, to whom he had, some way or other, made than any of these usurpers, for he was, even in the latter end himself odious: so ended the line of Jehu.

of his time, (in the reign of Abaz, which began in his 17th year,) 2. But had Shallum peace, who slew his master? No, he a great terror to the kingdom of Judah, as we find, Is. 7. 1, &c. had not, (v. 13,) one month of days measured his reign, and (2.) He lost a great part of his kingdom to the king of Assyria ; then he was ent off; perhaps to this the prophet, who then several cities are here named, (v. 29,) which were taken from lived, refers, (Hos. 5. 1,) Now shall a month devour them with him; all the land of Gilead on the other side Jordan, and Galitheir portions. That dominion seldom lasts long, which is lee in the north, containing the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun, founded in blood and falsehood. Menahem, either provoked were seized, and the inhabitants carried captive into Assyria. by his crime, or animated by his example, soon served him as By this judgment God punished him for his attempt upon he had served his master, klew him, and reigned in his slead, Judah and Jerusalem; it was then foretold, that within two or v. 14. Probably, he was general of the army, which then lay three years afier he made that attempt, before a child, then encamped at Tirzah, and, hearing of Shallum's treason and born, should be able to cry My father and my mother, the riches usurpaljon, hastened to punish it, as Omri did that of Zimri in of Samaria should be taken away before the king of Assyria, a like case, 1 Kings 16. 17.

(15. 8. 4;) and here we have the accomplishment of thar pre3. Menahem held the kingdom ten years, v. 17. But whereas diction. (3.) Soon after this, he left his life to the reseniments we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel were mer of his countrymen, who, it is probable, were disgusted at him ciful kings, (1 Kings 20. 31,) this Menahem (the scandal of for leaving them exposed to a foreign enemy, while he was his country) was so prodigiously cruel to those of his own invading Judah; this Hoshea took advantage of, and, to gain nation, which hesitated, a little, at submitting to him, that he his crown, seized his life, slew him, and reigned in his stead. not only ruined a city, and the coasts thereof, but, forgetting Surely he was fond of a crown indeed, who, at this time, would that he himself was born of a woman, ripped up all the women run such a hazard as a traitor did : for the crown of Israel, now with child, v. 16. We may well wonder that ever it should that it had lost the choicest of its flowers and jewels, was lined enter into the heart of any man, to be so barbarous, and to be more than ever with thorns, had, of late, been fatal to all the so perfectly lost to humanity itself. By these cruel methods heads that had worn it, was forfeited to divine justice, and now he hoped to strengthen himself, and to frighten all others into ready to be laid in the dust; a crown, which a wise man would his interests; but it seems he did not gain his point, for when not have taken up in the sireet, yet Hoshea not only ventures the king of Assyria came against him, (1.) So little confidence d upon it, but ventures for it, and it cost him dear.

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