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CHAPTER XV.

Reign of Amon, 2 Years-From 643 to 641.

2 KINGS XXI. ver. 19, TO THE END.

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A.C. 613,

19 | Amon was twenty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah.

20 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his father Manasseh did.

21 And he walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshipped them:

22 And he forsook the LORD God of his fathers, and walked not in the way of the LORD.

23 And the servants of Amon conspired against him, and slew the king in his own house.

24 And the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king. Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.

25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah ?

26 And he was buried in his sepulchre in the garden of a Matt. i. 10, Uzza : and a Josiah his son reigned in his stead.

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called Josias.

2 CHRONICLES XXXIII. VER. 21, TO THE END.

b2 Kings xxi. 21 To Amon was two and twenty years old when he began to reign, and 19, &c.

reigned two years in Jerusalem.

22 But he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, as did Manasseh his father: for Amon sacrificed unto all the carved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them;

23 And humbled not himself before the LORD, as Manasseh his father had Heb. multi- humbled himself; but Amon * trespassed more and more. plied trespass. 24 And his servants conspired against him, and slew him in his own house.

25 | But the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.

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a 2 Chron.

2 KINGS XXII. Ver. 1, 2. 1 Josiah a was eight years old when he began to reign, A.C. 641. and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of xxxiv. 1. Boscath.

2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.

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2 CHRONICLES Xxxiv. ver. 3-8.

634.

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c Lev. xxvi,

3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father : and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jeru- 1 Kings xiii. salem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images. 4 ° And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his

presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he *'Or, sun cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the images. molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it

upon the t graves of them that had sacrificed Heb. face as unto them.

5 And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.

6 And so did he in the cities of Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, with their Imattocks Or, mauls. round about.

7 And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images $ into powder, Heb. to and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, make powder. he returned to Jerusalem.

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SECTION 11.

Designation of Jeremiah to the Prophetic Office.

JEREMIAH 1 57.

1 The time, 3 and the calling of Jeremiah. 11 His prophetical visions of an

almond rod and a seething pot. 15 His heavy message against Judah. 17 God encourageth him with his promise of assistance.

1 The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin :

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A.C. 629.

67 The place and date of the first chapter of Jeremiah is assigned in verse 2. The efforts of Josiah to reform the nation of the Jews were promoted to the utmost by this prophet; who was mercifully commanded to exhort, and to make a final appeal, both to the people and to their princes, before they were carried into captivity. Chapters ii. and iii. to ver. 6. are supposed, by Dr. Blayney, to be one continued prophecy, delivered soon after the prophet commenced the duties of his office. It is a powerful address, full of eloquence ; endeavouring to convince the Jews of God's continued regard; and expostulating with them for their idolatry and sin ; and exhorting them to return to God.

The prophet Jeremiah was of the sacerdotal race, being (as he himself records) one of the priests that dwelt at Anathoth (i. 1.) in the land of Benjamin, a city appropriated out of that tribe to the use of the priests, the sons of Aaron (Josh. xxi. 18.), and situate about three Roman miles north of Jerusalem. Jeremiah appears to have been very young when he was called to the exercise of the prophetical office, from which he modestly endeavoured to excuse himself, by pleading his youth and incapacity; but being overruled by the divine authority, he set himself to discharge the duties of his function with unremitting diligence and fidelity, during a course of at least forty-two years, reckoned from the thirteenth year of Josiah's reign. In the course of his ministry he met with great difficulties and opposition from his countrymen, of all degrees, whose persecution and ill usage sometimes wrought so far upon his mind, as to draw from him expressions, in the bitterness of his soul, which many have thought difficult to reconcile with his religious principles; but which, when duly weighed, may be found to demand our pity rather than censure. He was, in truth, a man of unblemished piety and conscientious integrity; a warm lover of his country, whose miseries he pathetically deplores ; and so affectionately attached to his countrymen, notwithstanding their injurious treatment of him, that he chose rather to abide with them, and undergo all hardships in their company,

than separately to enjoy a state of ease and plenty, which the favour of the king of Babylon would have secured to him. At length, after the destruction of Jeru. salem, having followed the remnant of the Jews into Egypt, whither they had resolved to retire, though contrary to his advice, upon the murder of Gedaliah, whom the Chaldeans had left governor in Judea, he there continued warmly to remonstrate against their idolatrous practices, foretelling the consequences that would inevitably follow. But his freedom and zeal are said to have cost him his life ; for there is a tradition, that the Jews at Tahpanhes were so offended at

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2 To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of A.C. 620. Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.

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his faithful remonstrances, that they stoned him to death ; which account of the
manner of his decease, though not absolutely certain, is at least very likely to
be true, considering the temper and disposition of the parties concerned. Theit
wickedness, however, did not long pass without its punishment; for in a few
years after they were miserably destroyed by the Babylonian armies which in-
vaded Egypt, according to the prophet's prediction (xliv. 27, 28.)*. Some
Jewish writers, however, affirm that he returned to Judea, while others say
that he went to Babylon, and died there; and a third class are of opinion that
he died in Egypt, far advanced in years, and broken by the calamities which
had happened both to himself and his country. This prophet's writings are all
in Hebrew, except the eleventh verse of the tenth chapter, which is in Chaldee.

The idolatrous apostasy and other criminal enormities of the people of Judah,
and the severe judgments which God was preparing to infiict upon them, thouglı
not without a distant prospect of future restoration and deliverance, form the
principal subjects of the prophecies of Jeremiah ; except the forty-fifth chapter,
which relates personally to Baruch, and the six following chapters which respect
the fortunes of some particular heathen nations.

The arrangement of the prophecies of Jeremiah has been attended with more
difficulties than those of any other prophet. Their order differs in the Septua-
gint and in the Hebrew. It is evident, from various passages of the book itself,
that there were four distinct collections of the prophecies. The first was that
mentioned in chap. xxxvi. 2. and made by divine command in the fourth year
of the reign of Jehoiakim. In this collection were contained all the predictions
which he had delivered and published to that time, as well against other nations
as against the Jews: the prophecies against the Gentiles are, in our Bibles,
placed by themselves at the end of the book, as being in some measure un-
condected with those denounced against the Jews; bæt, in the present copies of
the Septuagint, they follow immediately after the thirteenth verse of the twenty-
fifth chapter f. This first collection comprised chapters i-XX. XXX. XXVI. XXXV.
Xxxvi. xlv-li, inclusive.

The second collection is that mentioned in chap. xxx. 2. and contained chap-
ters xxvii--xxxi. inclusive: it was made in the reign of Zedekiah, and, as may
be inferred from xxviii. 1. after the fourth year of the reign of Zedekiah.

The third collection was made soon after the destruction of Jerusalem, as is plainly indicated by the prophet himself, in the general preface to his book, where he says that the word of Jehovah came to him " in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign; and came in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, until the completion of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, until the carry

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• Dr. Blayney's Translation of Jeremiah, p. 221, 222. 2nd edit.

† Carpzov has written an elaborate disquisition on the variations between the Hebrew and the Septuagint, in the order of Jeremiah's prophecies; and has given a table illustrating those variations. See his Introduct. ad Libros Biblicos Vet. Test. pars. iii. c. iii. & 4. p. 144-152.

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d Is. xlix. 1,5.

f Ex. iv. 10.

A.C. 629. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah

king of Judah, unto the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah king of Judah, unto the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth month.

4° Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

5 Before I d formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and e Gal. i. 15, 16. before thou camest forth out of the womb I ° sanctified thee, * Heb. gave. and I * ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, 'Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.

7 | But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child : for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.

8 8 Be not afraid of their faces : for - I am with thee to Deut. xxxi. 6, deliver thee, saith the LORD.

9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and i touched my

And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over ! ch. xviii. ? the kingdoms, to 'root out, and to pull down, and to de2 Cor. x. 4,5.

stroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

11 g Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me,

Ezek. iii. 9.
Ex. iii, 12

8. Josh. i. 5.
Heb. xiii, 6.
i Is. vi. 7.
k ch. v. 14.

ing away of Jerusalem into captivity in the fifth month," (i. 1--3.) Consequently, this third collection included chapters xxi-xxiv. xxxii—xxxiv. and xxxvii---xxxix.

The fourth collection, containing chapters xl- xliv. inclusive, presents us with an account of Jeremiah himself, and of the other Jews who were left in Judea by the command of Nebuchadnezzar. The fifty-second chapter was probably added by Ezra®, as a preface to the book of Lamentations. It is chiefly taken out of the latter part of the second book of kings, with additions, which Ezra might supply out of the inspired records, and forms a very useful appendage to the prophecies of Jeremiah, as it illustrates their fulfilment in the destruction of the kingdom, city, and temple, which are the subject of the Lamentations.-Horne's Crit. Introduct. vol. ii. p. 273, &c.

On examining the internal evidence for the respective dates and occasions, when these prophecies were probably delivered ; and taking into consideration the several arguments of Lightfoot and Taylor, together with those of Prideaux, who has assigned a place to many of these predictions; it has been thought advisable to depart, in several instances, from Dr. Blayney's system, which has been generally adhered to in the arrangement of this book. That the reader who is interested in these enquiries may understand at one view the various arrangements given by these divines of the prophecies of Jeremiah, I have drawn up, in the following table, a summary of the order in which the chapters of Jeremiah should be read, according to their respective opinions.

• Carpzov ascribes it to Baruch, or some other inspired

Introd. part ü.

p. 152.

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