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80 proper for it as Jeremiah. When the word of the Lord came to this faithful priest (never having felt the force of the Divine energy), he doubted his own sufficiency to perform the task, which must have appeared particularly arduous at a time when iniquity was so prevalent among the people of Judah ; but no sooner did Jeremiah receive assurance that he should have Divine support, and be qualified for the office, than he readily undertook, without further hesitation, to do the will of the LORD, in spite of all the opposition with which he was threatened.
In what beautiful and pathetic language does Jeremiah address himself to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, reminding them of the kindness of the Lord to their forefathers, and of their own transgressions; shewing them that they had neglected God more than the heathens, whom they despised, had neglected the idols which they worshipped: that their sins were great cnough to raise astonishment in all the inhabitants of the heaven and earth. He assured them, that the evil which had been permitted to fall on their nation was the just punishment of their sins; and upbraided them for making alliances with other nations, for their inclination to idolatry, and for their ingratitude in rebelling against the Lord God. He then encouraged them by the most gracious promises of pardon *.
CONTINUATION OF THE REIGN OF JOSIAH KING OF
From 2 Kings, Chap. xxiii. 2 Chron. Chap. xxxiv.
And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of
* Sec Dr. Smith's Summary View of the Prophecies.
the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven. And he burned · them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Beth-el.
And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the king of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places, in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem, them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.
And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it to small powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people.
And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beer-sheba, and brake down the high places of the gates that were in the entering in of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man's left hand at the gate of the city,
Nevertheless, the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but they did eat of the unleavened bread among their brethren.
And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Moloch.
And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire. And the altars that were on the top of the upper
ehamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, did the king beat : down and break them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.
And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for : Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Amnion, : did the king defile.
And he brake in pieces the images, and cut down the groves, and filled their places with the bones of men.
Moreover, the altar that was at Beth-el, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and stamped it small to powder, and burned the
grove. And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, who pro-;claimed these words against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said,
O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD, Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name, and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon
thee. Then Josiah said, What title is that that I see? and the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of th man of God, that came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Beth-el. C 3
And he said, I et him alone, let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria.
And all the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke the LORD to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Beth-el.
And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there, upon the altars, and burned men's bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem*.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
It is reasonable to suppose, that Josiah was actuated, not merely by his own inclinations, but also by Jere. miah's predictions to destroy all the monuments of idolatry in his kingdom; for we read in a former section, that this good king began his work of reformation in the twelfth year of his reign; and Jeremiah informs us, that he was called to the prophetic office in the thirteenth. No sooner did Josiah testify his zeal, chan the LORD encouraged him to persevere.
Josiah had an undoubted right to destroy the monuments of idolatry in the land of Israel as well as Judah ; for after the captivity of the ten tribes, all who escaped put themselves under the protection, and were united with the subjects of the king of Judah ; who, as the descendant of David, was their lawful sovereign. Besides, it is imagined that the kings of Assyria, who conquered the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, did, at the time of Manasseh's restoration, confer upon the kings of Judah,
* 2 Chronicles, xxxiv. viii. seems to justify the placing this event prior to finding the Law.
who perhaps paid them homage on this account, a sovereignty over all the land of Canaan.
How greatly must have astonished Josiah, to find that the very action he was then performing had been foretold many years before! This circumstance was a farther confirmation to him that he was doing his duty. How wonderful are the ways of Providence! .
THE CONTINUATION OF THE REIGN OF JOSIAH KING:
From 2 Kings, Chap. xxii.-2 Chron. Chap. xxxiv.
Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when Josiah had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God.
And when they came to Hilkiah the high priest, they delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites that kept the doors had gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah, and Ben-jamin, and they returned to Jerusalem.
And they put it in the hand of the workmen that had the oversight of the house of the LORD, and they gave it to the workmen that wrought in the house of the Lord, to repair and mend the house :
Even to the artificers and builders gave they it, to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to floor the houses, which the kings of Judah had destroyed.
And the men did the work faithfully: and the overseers of them were Jahath, and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah, and Meshullam, of