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14 And he brake in pieces the images, and 25 And like unto him was there no king cut down the groves, and filled their places before him, that turned to the LORD with with the bones of men.
all his heart, and with all his soul, and with 15 | Moreover the altar that was at Beth- all his mi
all his might, according to all the law of el, and the high place which Jeroboam the son Moses ; neither after him arose there
like of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, him. both that altar and the high place he brake 26 9 Notwithstanding the Lord turned down, and burned the high place, and stamped not from the fierceness of his great wrath, it small to powder, and burned the grove. wherewith his anger was kindled against Ju
16 And as Josiah turned himself, he spied dah, because of all the 'provocations that the sepulchres that were there in the mount, Manasseh had provoked him withal. and sent, and took the bones out of the sepul- 27 And the LORD said, I will remove Judah chres, and burned them upon the altar, and also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, polluted it, according to the 'word of the and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who have chosen, and the house of which I said, proclaimed these words.
?My name shall be there. 17 Then he said, What title is that that I 28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, see? And the men of the city told him, It is and all that he did, are they not written the sepulchre of the man of God, which came in the book of the chronicles of the kings of from Judah, and proclaimed these things that Judah ? thou hast done against the altar of Beth-el. 29 "'In his days Pharaoh-nechoh king of
18 And he said, Let him alone ; let no man Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to move his bones. So they let his bones ''alone, the river Euphrates : and king Josiah went with the bones of the prophet that came out of against him ; and he slew him at Megiddo, Samaria.
when he had seen him. 19 | And all the houses also of the high 30 And his servants carried him in a chariot places that were in the cities of Samaria, dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jeruwhich the kings of Israel had made to pro- salem, and buried him in his own sepulchre. voke the LORD to anger, Josiah took away, And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the and did to them according to all the acts that son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him he had done in Beth-el.
king in his father's stead. 20 And he 16slew all the priests of the high 31 4 Jehoahaz was twenty and three years places that were there upon the altars, and old when he began to reign ; and he reigned burned men's bones upon them, and returned three months in Jerusalem. And his mother's to Jerusalem.
name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah 21 q And the king commanded all the of Libnah. people, saying, ""Keep the passover unto the 32 And he did that which was evil in the LORD your God, as it is written in the book sight of the LORD, according to all that his of this covenant.
fathers had done. 22 Surely there was not holden such a pass- 33 And Pharaoh-nechoh put him in bands over from the days of the judges that judged at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, might not reign in Jerusalem ; and put the nor of the kings of Judah ;
land to a tribute of an hundred talents of sil23 But in the eighteenth year of king Jo- ver, and a talent of gold. siah, wherein this passover was holden to the 34 And Pharaoh-nechoh made Eliakim the LORD in Jerusalem.
son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his 24 | Moreover the workers with familiar father, and turned his name to ??Jehoiakim, spirits, and the wizards, and the ''images, and and took Jehoahaz away: and he came to the idols, and all the abominations that were Egypt, and died there. spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, 35 9 And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the did Josiah put away, that he might perform gold to Pharaoh ; but he taxed the land to the words of the law which were written in give the money according to the commandment the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the of Pharaoh : he exacted the silver and the house of the LORD.
gold of the people of the land, of every one
13 Heb. statues. 14 1 Kings 13. 2.
15 Heb. to escape. 18 Exod. 12. 3. Deut. 16. 2.
19 Or, teraphim.
23 2 Chron, 35, 20, 22 1 Kings 8. 29, and 9. 3. Chap. 21. 7.
26 Heb. set a mulct upon the land.
16 Or, sacrificed.
17 2 Chron. 35. 1. 1 Esd, 1.1. 20 Levit. 20. 27. Dent. 18. 11.
21 Heb. angers. 24 2 Chron. 36. 1.
25 Or, becavse he reigned. 27 Matth. 1. 11, called Jakim.
according to his taxation, to give it unto Pha- name was Zebudah, the daughter of Pedaiah raoh-nechoh.
of Rumah. 36 4 Jehoiakim was twenty and five years
37 And he did that which was evil in the old when he began to reign; and he reigned sight of the LORD, according to all that his eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's fathers had done.
Verse 5. • The planets.' — The original word (nian to make it illustrative of the present text: • The parents mazzaloth) is of doubtful signification. But as the Chal
aud friends of those women will most joyfully accompany deans gave this name to the constellations of the zodiac, them; and when the wood is fitted for this hellish sacrithis is probably the signification it should here bear. The fice, and begins to burn, all the people assembled shout Rabbins are of this opinion; the Vulgate also has duo- and make a noise, that the screeches of this tortured decim signis ;' and Cudworth, Gesenius, and others,
creature may not be heard. Not much unlike the cusacquiesce in this conclusion, which is also supported by
tom of the Ammonites, who, when they made their the known practices of Sabæan idolatry, the principles of
children pass through the fire to Moloch, caused certain which we shall have an opportunity of explaining in the
tabrets or drums to sound, that their cry might not be notes to the book of Job.
heard; whence the place was called Tophet, a tabret.' 7. • The women wove hangings for the grove.'-What is
(Purchas, p. 1479.) here to be understood necessarily depends on the significa.
11. • He took away the horses...given to the sun...and tion we may determine to assign to the word asherah. burned the chariots of the sun.'—Horses were anciently Those who think that it denotes Astarte (see the second
sacrificed to the sun in different nations, their swiftness note on Judges vi. 25) conceive that the hangings were being supposed to render them an appropriate offering to robes for her image, or else that they were hangings for that luminary. Some think that the horses here menthe teuts in which were celebrated the abominable rites in tioned were intended for this purpose. We doubt this; honour of that goddess at which this verse hints. Our for, if so, they would probably have been sacrificed beimpression is that the asherah, whatever it were, was
fore this time. The Jews generally suppose the horses placed not in the sanctuary but in its court, and that the were intended for the use of worshippers, when they rode hangings were those of the tent or canopy which graced forth in the morning to meet the sun and render him and protected the idolatrous object. There is nothing
their homage. But the mention of chariots immediately very strange even in the idea of placing hangings on trees,
after seems to point out another and more obvious explato those who have observed the remaining relics of such a nation : this is, that they were employed to draw the practice in the custom still preserved in the East, even in
sacred chariots dedicated to the sun. In the chariots The Mohammedan countries, of decorating certain trees themselves, the Rabbins inform us, the king and nobles and bushes accounted sacred with rags and slips of cloth rode when they went forth to meet the morning sun. as votive offerings. When the sanctity of trees was more
This is possible; but, more probably, the horses and formally recognized than at present, and they stood pro- chariots were used in the sacred processions, and were tected in sacred places, rich hangings were probably used
employed, perhaps, on such occasions, to carry the for the same purpose. We see an indication of this in images of the sun. The ancient Persians, who were sunthe anecdote which, without seeming to understand it, worshippers, dedicated to that luminary white horses Greek authors (Herodotus and Ælian) have related of and chariots, which were paraded in their sacred proXerxes, who, on bis important expedition against Greece,
cessions; and it is thought that other nations borrowed tarried a whole day in the desert of Lydia that he might
the practice from them. Whether so or not, we find the pay homage to a magnificent plane-tree, on the branches same idea of associating a chariot and horses with the sun, of which he hung rich garments, bracelets, and other to denote the rapidity of his apparent progress, common precious ornaments; and the next day, proceeding on his
in the poetry and sculpture of classical antiquity. The march, he left a soldier behind to guard the honoured sun was supposed to be drawn daily, in a chariot, by four tree and the offerings he had made. See Ouseley's Dis
wondrous coursers, through the firmament: and we all sertation on · Sacred Trees,' being Appendix ix. to his
recollect the fate of the ambitious Phaëton, who aspired Travels in the East, vol. i. See also the note on Hos. to guide the swift chariot and control the strong coursers iv. 13.
of the sun.
The names of these coursers are preserved 8. * From Geba to Beer-sheba.—'This seems a proverbial --Eous, Pyrois, Æthon, and Phlegon—which are supexpression, to describe the extent of the kingdom from posed to refer to the four divisions of the day. In his north to south; being of the same purport as from Dan chariot, the persouified Sun was represented generally as to Beer-sheba,' for the extent of the whole country pos- a young man with a radiant head, and driving, whip in sessed by the Hebrews.
hand. He is sometimes seen thus issuing from a cave, to 10. • Topheth.'— This Hebrew word is usually derived
denote the commencement of his daily career.
In a from toph (on), a tabret or drum; and it is supposed to
medal of the emperor Heliogabalus, who had been a have obtained this name from the drums or tabrets which, priest of the sun in Syria, and who established the Syrian according to the general opinion of the Jews, were beaten
form of his worship at Rome, the human figure is wanting, to drown the cries of the children sacrificed to Moloch in and we only see in the chariot a stone, round below, and this horrid valley. Milton had this in view when speak- rising pyramidally to a point above. The Syrian origin ing of these sacrifices :
of this representation renders it of very considerable
interest. Ithat the sun is jutended is indisputable from • Moloch, horrid king! besmeared with blood Of human sacrifice and parents' tears,
the inscription, which, as usual, is Soli invicto, “To the
invincible Sun. It is remarkable, that, on ancient medals Though from the noise of drums and timbrels loud, Their children's cries unheard, that pass'd through fire
and gems, the horses are not always represented as
abreast, but sometimes as turned towards the four quarters To his grim idol.'— Par. Lost, b. i. 1. 392.
of the globe. The ideas which led to the representation The same custom, of raising a great vocal or instru- of the sun as a charioteer, and assigned to him a chariot mental noise when human sacrifices are in progress, has and horses, are too obvious to require explanation. prevailed wherever such horrid rites have been known. 13. “On the right hand of the mount of Corruption.'It is even witnessed in the (supposed) voluntary immola- The Chaldee and other versions read the Mount of tion of widows in India. Terry states the practice so as Olives,' obviously deriving the word rendered corruption' (ningja) from muję to anoint, with reference to the small vineyards and olive-groves. At its base is the oil produced by the famous olives of this mountain, rather small village of Siloam, consisting of about sixty poor than from the Chaldee nay, to destroy. We agree with
dwellings, scarcely distinguishable from the surrounding this; as the Mount of Olives is no doubt intended, what
tombs. The local tradition is, that Solomon's haram was ever name be given to it. With this the Jews agree in so
established on this spot, and the high places for their far that they place the Mount of Corruption immediately
worship on the hill above. The latter tradition is Letter fronting the temple on the east, which shews that they re
authenticated than the former. On the steep brow of garded it as the Mount of Olives. To understand this it
this hill there are a great number of excavations, some of
the smaller of which are now used for habitations, and is necessary to recollect that the Mount of Olives, in the generul sense, is a range of hills to the east of Jerusalem,
others as places of shelter for cattle. There are flights
of steps cut in the rock, and leading from cave to cave, separated therefrom by the valley through which the
to facilitate the communication between them where the Kidron flows, and extending from north to south. This
brow of the bill was steepest. range has three summits, the middlemost of which seems to be sometimes particularly distinguished as the mount 33. ' Riblah in the land of Hamathi'-Hamath has of Olives,' by way of eminence, when there is a distinct been mentioned under Num. xiii. Jerome says this was reference to the particular summits or component hills of Daphne, near Antioch in Syria, and the Targums also this range. By the mount of Olives,' or, if we will, put Daphne for Riblah. It seems to have been a very • mount of corruption,' of the present text, this central large ge, noted for its pleasantness and abundant bill is to be understood; and then the hill on the right waters, and to which the inhabitants of Antioch resorted hand' of that, is of course the one to the scuth, that is, the on leisure and holiday occasions. It was also celebrated southernmost of the three. This therefore is one of the for its sacred grove, in which was an asylum, with a few instances in which we can authenticate the local tra- temple of Apollo and Diana. The agreeable situation of ditions which correctly point to this southern hill, under the place, with other advantages which it offered, seems the name of the · Hill of Ofence,' as the site of the idola- to have recommended it as a temporary residence to trous liigh places erected by Solomon. This hill of Pharaoh-necho, as it did afterwards to Nebuchadnezzar, course presents the same general appearance as the range whom we subsequently find at the same place (xxv. 6, to which it belongs; but it is more steep and rude than 20, 21). tie central mount, with its dull red hue less relieved by
7 9 And the king of Egypt came not again
any more out of his land : for the king of 1 Jehoiakim, first subdued by Nebuchadnezzar, then Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt
rebelling aguinst him, procureth his own ruin. 6 Je. hoiachin succeedeth him. 7 The king of Egypt is
unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to ranquished by the king of Babylon. 8 Jehoiachin's the king of Egypt. evil icign. 10 Jerusalem is taken, and carried cap- 8 T Jehoiachin was eighteen years old tire into Babylon. 17 Zedekiah is made hing, and
when he began to reign, and he reigned in reigneth ill, unto the utter destruction of Judah.
Jerusalem three months. And his mother's Ix his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Baby- name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan lon came up, and Jehoiakim became his ser- of Jerusalem. vant three years : then he turned and rebelled 9 And he did that which was evil in the
sight of the Lord, according to all that his 2 And the Lord sent against him bands father had done. of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, 10 T 'At that time the servants of Neand bands of the Moabites, and bands of the buchadnezzar
buchadnezzar king of Babylon came up children of Ammon, and sent them against against Jerusalem, and the city ‘was be
Judah to destroy it, 'according to the word of sieged. • the Lord, which he spake *by his servants 11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon the prophets.
came against the city, and his servants did 3 Surely at the commandment of the LORD besiege it. came this upen Judah, to remove them out of 12 And Jehoiach in the king of Judah went his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, to all that he did ;
and his servants, and his princes, and his 4 And also for the innocent blood that he officers: and the king of Babylon took liim shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent in the eighth year of his reign. blood; which the LORD would not pardon. 13 And he carried out thence all the
5 9 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, treasures of the house of the LORD, and the and all that he did, are they not written in the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah ? all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of 6 So Jehoiakim slept with his
fathers : and Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, Jehoiachin his son reigned in his stead. as the Lord had said. 1 Chap. 20. 17, and 23. 27. Heb. by the hand of.
4 Heb. came into siege. Chap. 20. 17. Isa. 39. 6.
3 Dan. 1. 1.
5 Or, cunuchs.
14 And he carried away all Jerusalem, 17 And 'the king of Babylon made and all the princes, and all the mighty men Mattaniah his father's brother king in his of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah. the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, 18' *° Zedekiah was twenty and one year3 save the poorest sort of the people of the old when he began to reign, and he reigned land.
eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's 15 And he carried away Jehoiachin to name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah Babylon, and the king's mother, and the of Libnah. king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty 19 And he did that which was evil in the of the land, those carried he into captivity sight of the LORD, according to all that from Jerusalem to Babylon.
Jehoiakim had done. 16 And all the men of might, even seven 20 For through the anger of the Lord it thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thou- came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until sand, all that were strong and apt for war, he had cast them out from his presence, that even them the king of Babylon brought cap- Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Bative to Babylon,
bylon. & Or, eunuchs.
7 2 Chron, 36, 10. Esth, 2. 6.
Jer. 37. 1.
10 Jer, 52. 1.
CHAP. xxiv.--The leading facts of this very summary chapter are related still more summarily in eleven verses (6—16) of 2 Chron. xxxvi. Nevertheless, the passage in Chronicles, although shorter, contains some circumstances which the chapter before us does not express, chiefly in reference to the conduct of Zedekiah. "The present text, on the other hand, is more particular in describing the proceedings of the Babylonian invaders. The three first verses of Jeremiah lii. correspond exactly to verses 18-20 of this chapter.
Verse 1. • Nebuchadnezzar.'--Now that the Babylonians appear again upon the scene, we take the opportunity of recapitulating the history of the heathen kingdoms as influencing that of Judah. Our last notice of the subject concluded with the successful endeavour of Esarhaddon to re-establish the broken power of the Assyrian empire. This prince died in 667 B.C., and was succeeded by his son Ninus III. in the general authority; while one Saosduchin, who was either his son or his deputy, succeeded him at Babylon, but doubtless in dependence upon the king of Assyria. There is nothing particular recorded of this Ninus, who, in 658 B.C., was succeeded in the Assyrian throne by Nebuchadonosor. Many important particulars of this reign are stated in the apocryphal book of Judith, the historical authority of which is strongly advocated both by Dean Prideaux and Dr. Hales. The particulars which it gives are said by the latter to be perfectly consonant to the whole range of sacred and profane history, and supply some important links in both which are not to be found elsewhere.' Meanwhile, we may proceed on this authority to state, that this king Nebuchadonosor determined, in the twelfth year of his reign, to undertake an expedition against the Medes, who still maintained their independence, and summoned all the states of his empire to his aid. But the western and southern provinces of Cilicia, Phænicia, Judæa, Moab, Ammon, and Egypt, refused to furnish their contingents of troops, and some of them even treated his ambassadors with insult. This retarded his operations, so that he was not in a condition to take the field till the seventeenth year of his reign, when he marched into Media, and completely succeeded in his enterprise, having defeated the Medes, slain their king, and taken Ecbatana, their capital. Then, returning in triumph to Nineveh, he prepared to punish the refractory states which had refused to assist him in the Median war. For this purpose he the next year despatched his general Holofernes beyond the Euphrates, with an army of 120,000 foot and 12,000 horse. This great army ravaged and reduced Cilicia and Syria, with part of Arabia, Ammon, and Edom: Phænicia was struck with alarm
and sued for peace, which was granted, but not so as to exempt it from being treated as a conquered nation. Holofernes then turned his attention to Judæa; but, while engaged in blockading the town of Bethulia, the key to the hill country of Judæa, he was slain in his tent by Judith, which struck such a panic into the Assyrians that they were easily routed with great slaughter. This event is fixed by Dr. Hales in the year 640 B.C., when, after the assassination of Amon, the government of Judæa was administered by Joachim the high-priest, and the council of elders, during the minority of Josial. This Joachim is the Hilkiah of 2 Kings xxii. 8.
The effects of this signal defeat of the Assyrians may be traced in the sacred and profane history. Hales calls it. the death-blow of the Assyrian empire.' He adds, * They never recovered its disastrous consequences. The western nations all shook off the Assyrian yoke; the eastern, the Medes, rallied after their recent defeat, and recovered Ecbatana, and the cities that had been taken by Nebuchadonosor; they even carried the war into Assyria, and, in conjunction with the Babylonians, who again revolted, besieged and took Nineveh, and put an end to the Assyrian empire, 606 B.c. (about thirty-four years after the defeat of Holofernes), as we learn from the joint testimony of sacred and profane history. (Tobit xiv. 15; Herodot. Euterpe). Among those who availed themselves of the distresses of Assyria was Pharach-necho, king of Egypt, who, finding the king involved in a war with the revolted Medes and Babylonians, advanced through Judæa in order to take Carchemish, an important pass on the Euphrates. (See the note on 1 Kings iv. 24.) But his passage was opposed by Josiah, who was either indisposed to the Egyptians, who had proved a broken reed' to the Hebrews in their wars with the Assyrians, or perhaps thinking it safer to attach himself to the latter, who had already demonstrated their power and wreaked their resentment upon Israel. The result was, as recorded in the preceding chapter, that Josiah was slain; and, from the subsequent transactious, it appears that the Egyptian king treated Judæa as a subject kingdom.
When Assyria was taken by the Medes and Babylonians its king was Sarac, or Sardanapalus II., who, when defence was no longer practicable, burned himself, his concubines, and his treasure, upon a great pile in the court of his palace, to avoid falling into the hands of the enemy, who, after they had taken the city, razed it to the ground. The details of this event we shall hereafter notice more particularly in connection' with the prophecies in which it was predicted.
This transaction rewarded the Medes with indepen