Page images
PDF
EPUB

Jehoshaphat (1 Kings xxii. 41-44; 2 Chron. xix. 4-11; xviii. 1-3, 28–32; xix. 1-3; 1 Kings xxii. 47-50). And Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. Jehoshaphat was thirty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the Lord: nevertheless the high places were not taken away; for the people offered and burnt incense yet in the high places. And Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel.

And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people from Beer-sheba to the hill country of Ephraim, and brought them back unto the Lord God of their fathers. And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges: "Take heed what ye do for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts."

Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and the priests, and of the chief of the fathers of Israel, for the judgment of the Lord, and for controversies. When they returned to Jerusalem, he charged them, saying: "Thus shall ye do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully, and with a perfect heart. And what cause soever shall come to you of your brethren that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood,1 between law and commandment, statutes and judgments, ye shall even warn them that they trespass not against the Lord, and so wrath come upon you, and upon your brethren: this do, and ye shall not trespass. And behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the Lord; and Zebediah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, for all the king's matters: also the Levites shall be officers before you. Deal courageously, and the Lord shall be with the good."

Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab.2 And after certain years he went

1 between blood and blood. The measure of guilt in cases of murder or manslaughter.

2 See also pp. 348-350.

down to Ahab to Samaria. And Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramoth-gilead. And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah: "Wilt thou go with me to Ramoth-gilead?" And he answered him: "I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we I will be with thee in the war."

So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat: "I will disguise myself, and will go to the battle; but put thou on thy robes." So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went to the battle. Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots that were with him, saying: "Fight ye not with small or great, save only with the king of Israel." And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, "It is the king of Israel." Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him; and God moved them to depart from him. For it came to pass, that, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back again from pursuing him.

And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem. And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat: "Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord. Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the asherim out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God."

There was then no king in Edom,' but the deputy of king Jehoshaphat made Tarshish ships to go to Ophir for gold. But they went not; for the ships were broken at Ezion-geber. Then said Ahaziah the son of Ahab unto Jehoshaphat: "Let my servants go with thy servants in the ships." But Jehoshaphat would not. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might that he shewed, and how he warred,2 are they not written

1 See p. 326. It is not known when Judah had again subjected Edom ;- perhaps after the invasion just recounted.

2 2 Chron. xx. recounts an invasion of Judah by a triple alliance - Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites in the latter part of his reign. Jehoshaphat and his people hold a great assembly for prayer, whereupon Jehovah works a signal deliverance.

in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land. And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Joram his son reigned in his stead.

Joram (2 Kings viii. 16-22; 2 Chron. xxi. 4, 11-20). And in the fifth year of Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Joram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign. Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the Lord. Yet the Lord would not destroy Judah for David his servant's sake, as he promised him to give him a lamp before him alway. In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves. So Joram went over to Zair, and all the chariots with him:1 and he rose by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him about; and the captains of the chariots were with him, but the people fled into their tents. So Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time.

Now when Joram was risen up to the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself, and slew all his brethren with the sword, and divers also of the princes of Israel. Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.

And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying: "Thus saith the Lord God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, but hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father's house, which were better than thyself: behold, with a great plague will the Lord smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods: and thou shalt have

1 Mention of an ambush, into which Joram fell, has evidently been lost from the text.

great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day."

Moreover the Lord stirred up against Joram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians and they came up into Judah, and brake into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king's house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Ahaziah, the youngest of his sons. And after all this the Lord smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers. Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired. Howbeit they buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchres of the kings.

Ahaziah (2 Chron. xxii. 1–9). And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his stead: for the band of men that came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the eldest. So Ahaziah the son of Joram king of Judah reigned. Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Athaliah the daughter1 of Omri. He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly. Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the Lord like the house of Ahab: for they were his counsellors after the death of his father to his destruction. He walked also after their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramothgilead: and the Syrians smote Jehoram. And he returned to be healed in Jezreel because of the wounds which were given him at Ramah, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.

And Ahaziah the son of Joram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab at Jezreel, because he was sick. And the destruction of Ahaziah was of God by coming to Jehoram: for when he was come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab. And it came to pass that, when Jehu 1 Daughter. That is, granddaughter.

was executing judgment upon the house of Ahab, and found the princes of Judah, and the sons of the brethren of Ahaziah, ministering to Ahaziah, he slew them. And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him (for he was hid in Samaria), and brought him to Jehu' and when they had slain him, they buried him

66

Because," said they, "he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart." So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom.

Athaliah's Usurpation (2 Kings xi.). And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal. But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bed-chamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain. And he was with her hid in the house of the Lord six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land.

And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the captains over hundreds, over the Carites' and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the Lord, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the Lord, and shewed them the king's son. And he commanded them, saying: "This is the thing that ye shall do: A third part of you that enter in on the sabbath shall even be keepers of the watch of the king's house. And two parts of all that you forth on go the sabbath, even they shall keep the watch of the house the Lord about the king. And ye shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand: and he that cometh within the ranges let him be slain: and be ye with the king as he goeth out and as he cometh in." 4

3

And the captains over the hundreds did according to all things that Jehoiada the priest commanded: and they took every man his men that were to come in on the sabbath, with them that should go out on the sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest. And to the captains over hundreds did the priest give

1 See also p. 369.

2 Carites. Mercenaries, probably from Caria in Asia Minor, serving as a royal bodyguard. Herodotus mentions that they were so employed by Psammetichus of Egypt.

8 ranges. Ranks.

goeth out [from the temple] and as he cometh in [to the palace].

« PreviousContinue »