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with the people bread was led the Passover when the life of
3. When these men were come, king Hezekiah went up into the temple, with the rulers, and all the people, and offered for himself seven bulls, and as many rams, with seven lambs, and as many kids of the goats. The king also himself, and the rulers, laid their hands on the heads of the sacrifices, and permitted the priests to complete the sacred offices about them. So they both slew the sacrifices, and burnt the burnt-offerings, while the Levites stood round about them, with their musical instruments, and sang hymns to God, and played on their psalteries, as they were instructed by David to do, and this while the rest of the priests returned the music, and sounded the trumpets which they had in their hands; and when this was done, the king and the multitude threw themselves down upon their face, and worshipped God. He also sacrificed seventy bulls, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs. He also granted the multitude sacrifices, to feast upon, six hundred oxen, and three thousand other cattle; and the priests performed all things according to the law. Now the king was so pleased herewith that he feasted with the people, and returned thanks to God: But as the feast of unleavened bread was now come when they had offered that sacrifice which is called the Passover, they after that offered other sacrifices for seven days. When the king had bestowed on the multitude, besides what they sanctified of themselves, two thousand bulls, and seven thousand other cattle, the same thing was done by the rulers; for they gave them a thousand bulls, and a thousand and forty other cattle. Nor bad this festival been so well observed from the days of king Solomon, as it was now first observed with great splendour and magnificence: and when the festival was ended, they went out into the country, and purged it; and cleansed the city of all the pollution of the idols. The king also gave order that the daily sacrifices should be offered, at his own charges, and according to the law; and appointed that the tythes, and the first fruits should be given by the multitude to the priests and Levites, that they might constantly attend upon divine service, and never be taken off from the worship of God. Accordingly, the multitude brought together all sorts of their fruits to the priests and the Levites. The king also made garners and receptacles for these fruits, and distributed them to every one of the priests and Levites, and to their children and wives. And thus did they return to their old form of divine worship. Now when the king bad settled these matters after the manner already described, he made war upon the Philistines, and beat them, and possessed himself of all the enemies cities, from Gaza to
Gath; but the king of Assyria sent to him, and threatened to overturn all his dominions, unless he would pay him the tribute wbich his father paid hin formerly; but king Hezekiah was not concerned at bis threatenings, but depended on his piety towards God, and upon Isaiah the prophet, by whom he enquired, and accurately knew all future events. And thus much shall suffice for the present concerning this king Hezekiah.
ign of he king* . he ninth rezekiah
me reign of hem, and quanted all the Hosh
How Shalmaneser took Samaria by force, and how he trans
planted the ten tribes into Media, and brought the nation
of the Cutheans into their country (in their room.] § 1. W HEN Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria, had it told him, that (Hoshea,] the king of Israel had sent privately to So, the king of Egypt, desiring his assistance against him, he was very angry, and made an expedition against Samaria, in the seventh year of the reign of Hoshea; but when he was not admitted [into the city] by the king,*.he besieged Sa. maria three years, and took it by force in the ninth year of the reign of Hoshea,' and in the seventh year of Hezekiah king of Jerusalem, and quite demolished the government of the Israelites, and transplanted all the people into Media, and Persia, among whom he took king Hoshea alive; and when he had removed these people out of this their land, he transplanted other nations out of Cuthah, a place so called, (for there is still] a river of that name in Persia,) into Samaria, and into the country of the Israelites. So the ten tribes of the Israelites were removed out of Judea nine hundred and forty-seven years after their forefathers were come out of the land of Egypt, and possessed themselves of this country, but eight hundred years after Joshua had been their leader, and, as I have already observed, two hundred and forty years, seven months, and seven days, after they had revolted from Rehoboam, the grandson of David, and had given the kingdom to Jeroboam. And such a conclusion overtook the Israelites, when they had transgressed the laws, and would not hearken to the prophets, who foretold that this calamity would come upon them, if they would not leave off their evil doings. What gave birth to these evil doings, was that sedition which they raised against Rehoboam the grandson of David, when they set up Jeroboam bis servant to be their king, who by sinning against God, and bringing them to imitate his bad example, made God to be their enemy, while Jeroboam underwent that punishment which he justly deserved.
* This siege of Samaria, though not given a particular account of, either in our Hebrew or Greek Bibles, or in Josephus, was so very long, no less than three years, that it was no way improbable but that parents, and particularly mothers, might therein be reduced to eat their own children, as the law of Mo. ses had threatened upon their disobedience, Levit. xxvi. 29. Deut. xxviii. 53 57. and as was accomplished in the other shorter sieges of both the capital ci, ties, Jerusalem and Samaria, the former mentioned, Jer. xix. 9. Antiq. B. IX ch. iv. sect. 4. and the latter, 2 Kings vi. 26-29.
2. And now the king of Assyria invaded all Syria and Phenicia in an hostile manner. The name of this king is also set down in the archives of Tyre, for he inade an expedition against Tyre in the reign of Eluleus; and Menander attests to it, who when he wrote his Chronology, and translated the archives of Tyre into the Greek language, gives us the following history: “ One whose name was Eluleus, reigned thirty“ six years: this king upon the revolt of the Citteans, sailed " to them, and reduced them again to a submission. Against - these did the king of Assyria send an army, and in an hos" tile manner over-run all Phenicia, but soon made peace « with them all, and returned back: but Sidon, and Ace, and “ Palætyrus, revolted; and many other cities there were " which delivered themselves up to the king of Assyria. “ Accordingly when the Tyrians would not submit to him, " the king returned, and fell upon them again, while the “ Phenicians had furnished him with threescore ships, and “ eight hundred men to row them; and when the. Tyrians " had come upon them in twelve ships, and the enemies' " ships were dispersed, they took five hundred men pri« soners, and the reputation of all the citizens of Tyre was " thereby increased: but the king of Assyria returned, and “ placed guards at their river and aqueducts, who should “ hinder the Tyrians from drawing water. This continued 6 for five years, and still the Tyrians bore the siege, and “ drank of the water they had out of the wells they dug.” And this is what is written in the Tyrian archives concerning Shalmaneser the king of Assyria.
3. But now the Cutheans, who removed into Samaria, (for that is the name they have been called by to this time, be. cause they were brought out of the country called Cuthah, wbich is a country of Persia, and there is a river of the same name in it,) each of them, according to their nations, which were in number five, brought their own gods into Samaria, and by worshipping them, as was the custom of their own countries, they provoked Almighty God to be angry and displeased at them, for a plague seized upon them, by which they were destroyed ; and when they found no cure for their miseries, they learned by the oracle, that they ought to worship Almighty God, as the method for their deliverance. So they sent ambassadors to the king of Assyria, and desired him to send them some of those priests of the Israelites, whom he had taken captive. And when he thereupon sent them, and the people were by them taught the laws, and the holy worship of God, they worshipped him in a respectful manner, and the plague ceased immediately; and indeed they continue to make use of the very same customs to this very time, and are called in the Hebrew tongue Cutheans, but in the Greek tongue Samaritans. And when they see the Jews in prosperity, they pretend that they are changed, and allied to them, and call them kinsmen, as though they were derived from Joseph, and had by that means an original alliance with them: but when they see them falling into a low condition, they say they are no way related to them, and that the Jews have no right to expect any kindness or marks of kindred from them, but they declare that they are sojourners, that come from other countries. But of these we shall have a more seasonable opportunity to discourse hereafter.
CONTAINING THE INTERVAL OF ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY TWO YEARS.
AND AN HALF.
FROM THE CAPTIVITY OF THE TEN TRIBES, TO THE
FIRST OF CYRUS.
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How Sennacherib made an expedition against Hezekiah ; what
threatenings Rabshakeh made to Hezekiah when Sennacherib was gone against the Egyptians; how Isaiah the prophet encouraged him ; how Sennacherib having failed of success in Egypt, returned thence to Jerusalem; and how, upon finding his army destroyed, he returned home; and
what befel him a little afterward. $ 1. It was now the fourteenth year of the government of Hezekiah, king of the two tribes, when the king of Assyria, whose name was Sennacherib, made an expedition against him with a great army, and took all the cities of the tribe of Judah and Benjamin by force; and when he was ready to bring his army against Jerusalem, Hezekiah sent ambassadors to him before-hand, and promised to submit, and pay what tribute he should appoint. Hereupon Sennacherib, when he heard of what offers the ambassadors made, resolved not to proceed in the war but to accept of the proposals that were made him : and if he inight receive three hundred talents of silver, and thirty talents of gold, he promised that he would depart in a friendly manner; and he gave security upon oath to the ambassadors that he would then do him ng barm, but go away as he came. So Hezekiah submitted, and emptied his treasures and sent the money, as supposing he should be freed from his enemy, and from any farther distress about his kingdom. Accordingly the Assyrian king took it, and yet had no regard to what he had promised; but while he himself went to the war against the Egyptians, and Ethiopians, he left his general Rabshakeh, and two other of his principal commanders, with great forces, to destroy Jerusalem. The names of the two other commanders were Tartan and Rabsaris.
2. Now as soon as they were come before the walls, they