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CONTAINING THE INTERVAL OF ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY SEVEN YEARS,
FROM THE DEATH OF AHAB TO THE CAPTIVITY OF THE TEN
Concerning Jehoshaphat again; how he constituted Judges,
and, by God's assistance, overcame his enemies. § 1. When Jehoshaphat the king was come to Jerusalem, from the assistance he had afforded Ahab, the king of Israel, when he fought with Benhadad, king of Syria, the prophet Jehu met him, and accused him for assisting Ahab, a inan both impious and wicked; and said to him, That “ God was “ displeased with him for so doing, but that he delivered him “ from the enemy, notwithstanding he had sinned, because of “ his own proper disposition, which was good.” Whereupon the king betook himself to thanksgivings and sacrifices to God; after which he presently went over all that country which he ruled round about, and taught the people, as well the laws which God gave them by Moses, and that religious worship that was due to him. He also constituted judges in every one of the cities in his kingdom; and charged them “ to have re
gard to nothing so much in judging the multitude as to do
justice, and not to be moved by bribes, nor by the dignity « of mon eminent for either their riches or their high birth, “ but to distribute justice equally to all, as knowing that God “ is conscious of every secret action of theirs.” When he had himself instructed them thus, and gone over every city
of the two tribes, he returned to Jerusalem. He there also con
stituted judges out * of the priests and the Levites, and principal persons of the multitude, and admonished them to pass all their sentences with care and justice. And that if any of the people of his country had differences of great consequence, they should send them out of the other cities to these judges, who would be obliged to give righteous sentences concerning such causes; and this with the greater care, because it is
that the sentences which are given in that city wherein the temple of God is, and wherein the king dwells, be given with great care, and the utmost justice. Now he set over them Amariah the priest, and Zebadiah, [both] of the tribe of Judah: and after this manner it was that the king ordered these affairs.
2. About the same time the Moabites and Ammonites made an expedition against Jehoshaphat, and took with them a great body of Arabians, and pitched their camp at Engedi, a city that is situate at the lake Asphaltitis, and distant three hundred furlongs from Jerusalem. In that place grows the best kind of palm trees, and the t opobalsamum. Now Jehoshaphat heard that the enemies had passed over the lake, and had made an irruption into that country which belonged to his kingdom; at which news he was affrighted, and called the people of Jerusalem to a' congregation in the temple, and standing over against the temple itself, he called upon God, “ To afford him power and strength, so as to inflict “ punishment on those that made this expedition against 6 them, (for that those who built this his temple had prayed, " that he would protect that city, and take vengeance on " those that were so bold as to come against it), for they are
come to take from us that land which thou hast given us “ for a possession.” When he had prayed thus, he fell into tears; and the whole multitude, together, with their wives and children, made their supplications also : Úpon which a certain prophet, Jahazaleel by name, came into the midst of the assembly, and cried out, and spake both to the multitude and to the king, that God heard their prayers, and promised to fight against their enemies. He also gave order that the king should draw his forces out the next day, for that he should find them between Jerusalem, and the ascent of Engedi, at a place called the Eminence, and that he should not fight against them, but only stand still, and see how God would fight
* These judges, constituted by Jehoshaphat, were a kind of Jerusalem sanbe. drin, out of the priests, the Levites, and the principal of the people, both here and 2 Chron, xix. 8. much like the Old Christian judicatures of the bishop, the presbyters, the deacons, and the people.
+ Concerning this precious balsam, see the note on Antiq. B. VIII.ch. vi. $ 6.