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pitched his camp near the others, and pre- || thing of all this then, neither do you consider: pared every thing necessary for tbe fight.. it now; but come with so great an army His ariny consisted of four hundred thousand ; against us. And what is it that you depend but the army of Jeroboam was double that upon for victory? Is it upon the golden heja ! number. Now as the armies stood in array | fers, and the altars you have erected on high ready for action, and were just going to fight, places, which are demonstrations of your im. Abijah stood upon an elevated place, aod, piety, and not of religious worship? Or is beckoning with his hand, he desired the mul it the exceeding multitude of your army which titude and Jeroboam hiuself to hear first what gives you such good hopes? yet certainly he had to say. And when silence was made, there is no strength in an army of many thours he began to speak to this effect : “God con-sands when the war is unjust. For we ought sented that David and his posterity should to place our surest hope of success against our be your rulers for all time to come ; and this enemies in righteousness alone, and in piety. you yourselves are not unacquainted with. towards God.
towards God. Which hope we justly have, But I cannot but wonder how you should since we have kept the laws from the begin.. • forsake my father, and join yourselves to hisning, and have worshipped our own God, who servant, Jeroboam ; and are now liere with was not made by hands out of corruptible him to fight against those who, by God's own matter; nor was he formed by a wicked king, determination, are to reign, and to deprive in order to deceive the multitude; but who is them of that dominion which they have still * bis own workmanship, and the beginning retained; for as to the greater part of it, Je. || and end of all things. I thereforegive you roboam is unjustly in possession of it. How-counsel even now to repent, and to take bet: ever, I do not suppose he will enjoy it any 1 ter advice, and to leave off the prosecution of Jonger; but when he hath suffered that pui- the war ; to call to mind the laws of your nishment which God thinks due to him for country, and to reflect what it hath been that what is past, he will leave off the transgres-'l hath advanced you to so happy a state as you sions he hath been guilty of, and the injuries i are now in.” he bath offered to bim, and which he hath This was the speech which Abijah made still continued to offer; and hath persuaded to the multitude. But while he was still you to do the same.' Yet, when you were not speaking, Jeroboam sent some of his soldiers any further unjustly treated by my father, | privately to surround him on certain parts of than that he did not speak to you so as 10 the camp that were not taken notice of. And please you, and this only in compliance with when he was thus within the compass of the the advice of wicked men, you in anger for- enemy, his army was affrighted, and their sook 'him, as you pretended, but, in reality, courage failed them. But A hijah encouraged you withdrew yourselves from God, and from them, and exhorted them to place their hopes his laws, although it had been right for youon God: for that he was not encompassed by to have forgiven so young a man not only some the eneniy. So they all at once implored the disagreeable words, but if his youth and bis divine assistance; while the priests sounded unskilfülness in affairs had led him into some with the trumpets, and they made a shout, unfortunate actions, and that for the sake of and fell upon their enemies; and God brake his father Sulomon, and the benefits you re the courage and cast down the force of their ceived from 'him. For men ought to excuseenensies, and made Abijah's army superior to the sins of posterity, on account of the bene- them. For Gud vouchsafed them a wonderfactions of parents. But you considered no ful and very famous victory; and such at
This is a strange expression in Josephus, that God is his own workmanship, or that he made himself; contrary to common sense, and to Christianity.' Constitut. Apost. VI, 11. Perhaps he only means that he was made by none, but was unoriginated. See Cotelerius's note on the forecited place of the Constitutions.
+ By this terrible and unpralleled slaughter of 500,000 men of the newly idolatrous and rebellious, ten tribes, God's high displeasure and indignation against idoTatry and rebellion fully appeared; the remainder were thereby 'seriously cautioned not to persist in them; and a kind of balance or equilibrium was made between the ten
slaughter was now made of Jeroboam's army, | God had foretold, that some of. Jeroboam's as is never recorded to have happened in any kindred that died in the city were tórn to other war; whether it wesë of the Greeks or pieces and devoured by dóys, and that others of the Barbarians ; for, they overthrew and slew of them that died in the field were torn and five hundred thousand of their enemies; * and devoured by the fowls. So the house of Jerothey took their strongest cities by force, and boain suffered the just punishment of his im. spoiled them, and besides those they did the piety, and of his wicked actions. same to Bethel and her towns and Jeshanah and her towns.' And after this defeat
CHAP. XII. Jeroboam never recovered himself during the life of Abijah; who yet did not long survive :
OF TÅE À FPATRS OP ASA, KING OP JERUSALEM, De
STRUCTION OF THE HOUSE OF BAASHA, AND THE CON. for be reigned' but three years, t and was bu,
DycT. OF THE SuccessoKS ON THE THRONĘ OF ISRAEL. ried in Jerusalem, in the sepulchres of his sons, and sixteen daughters; and have that time Now Asa, the king of Jerusalem, was of
X an excellent character, and had in regard those children by fourteen wives; and Asa his to God; and 'neither did nor designed any son succeeded in his kingdom ; and the young thing bùt what was consistent with the laws. man's mother was Michaiah. Under his reigų He made a reformation of his kingdom, and the country of the Israelites enjoyed peace for
cut off whatsoever was wicked therein, and ten years.
purified it from every impurity. Now he had But Jeroboam, the king of the ten tribes, an army of chosen men that were armed with died when he had reigned twenty-two years. # targets and spears
' ; but of the tribe of Judah His son Nadab succeeded him in the second three hundred thousand; and out of the tribe year of the reign of Asạ ; and governed two of Benjamin that bore shields and drew bow's years, and resembled his father in impiety and two hundred and fifty thousand. But when wickedness. In these two years he made an he had reigned ten years, Zerah, ş king of expedition against Gibbethon, a city of the Ethiopia, || made an expedition against him, Philistines, and continued the siege in order with a great army, of nine hundred'thousand to take it : but he was conspired against while footmen, one hundred thousand horsemen, and he was there by a friend of his, whose name three hundred chariots : -and caine as 'far as was Baasha, the son of Ahijah, and was slain. Mareshah *á city that belonged to the Baasha took the kingdom after the other's of Judah." Now when Zerah bad passed so death, and destroyed the whole house of Je- far with his own army, Asa met him, and put roboam. It also came to pass, according as his army in array over against him, in a val
Morris and the two tribes, for the time to come. While other is very probable, then, that the couvery here spoken of 'wise the perpetually idolatrous and rebellious'ten tribes must not be Ethiopia, properly so called, because we can would naturally have been 100 powerful for the two tribės, hardly imagine, how an army of a million of men should which were pretty frequently free both from such idola. be permitted to march through Egypt, (as they must have ury and rebellion. Nor is there, by consequence, any done to invade Judea,) without some opposition: and reason to doubt the truth of this prodigious number slain, therefore the country must be the land of Cush, which upon 'so singular an occasion.
Jay in Arabia Petræa, upon the east shore of the Red Sea, *.2 Chron. xiii. 17.
and, at the extremity to the point of that sea, inclining # From An. 959 to 957: two years and seven months. towards Egypt and Judea. And whereas some have
From An. 975 to 955, at eleven months to a year. made a doubt, how.so small. a country could have proSee Chron. of the Old Test. page 16-20.
large an army, it is no hard matter to suppose, $ The Scripture takes no notice of what was the cause that a great part of the army might perhaps have been of this war between Zerah and Asa, nor are interpreters mercenaries. Calmel's Commentary on 2 Chron, xiv. 9; well agreed what the country was from whence this ene and Dictionary, under the word Cush. And Well's Geomy came. The country, in the original, is called Cush, graphy of the Old Test. vol. 1, c. 4.' B. though we translate it Ethiopia. Now there are three countries, different from one another, all called by the ll The reader is to remember that Cush is not Ethiopia, name of Cush; 1. the land of Cush upon the river Gihon; but Arabia. See Bochart Phaleg. IV. 2. 2. Cush upon the eastern shore of the Red Sea ; and, 3. An: 947. Cush, situated above Thebais, and in Upper Egypt. It
** 2 Chron. xiv. 9,
ley called Zepathan, not far from the city. | When the king and the people beard this, And when he saw the multitude of the Ethi- they rejoiced; and all in common, and every opians, he cried out, and besought God 'to one in particular, took great care to behave give them the victory, and that he might kill themselves righteously. † The king also sent many thousands of the enemy.' " For," said some to take care, that those in the country he, “I depend on nothing else but that as should observe the laws. sistance which I expect from thee : which I now return to Baasha, king of the multiis able to make the fewer superior to the more tude of the Israelites, who "slew Nadab, the numerous, and the weaker, to the stronger, son of Jeroboam, and retained the governand thence it is alone that I venture to meet ment. He dwelt & in the city Tirzah ; havZerah and fight him.”
ing made that his habitation; and reigned While Asa was speaking thus, God gave | twenty-four years. He became more wicked him a signal victory; and joining batlle cheer and impious than Jeroboam or his son : for he fully on account of what God had foretold did a great deal of mischief to the multitude; about it, he slew a great many of the Ethio and was injurious to God. The prophet Jeho pians: and when he had put them to flight, was therefore sent to tell him beforehand, that he pursued them to the country of Gerar. his whole family should be destroyed, and that And when they left off killing their enemies, God would bring the same miseries on his they betook themselves to spoiling them, (for house, which had brought that of Jeroboam to the city of Gerar was already taken,) and to ruin : because when he had been made king spoiling their camp. So that they carried off by him, he had not requited his kindness, by much gold and silver, and a great deal of governing the multitude righteously and reother
prey, and camels, and cattle, and flocks ligiously; which things in the first place tendof sheep. Accordingly, when Asa and his ed to their own happiness, and in the next army had obtained such a victory, and such || place were pleasing to God; that he had imiwealth from God, they returned to Jerusalem. tated this very wicked king Jeroboam; and Now as they were coming, a prophet, whose although that man's soul had perished, yet did name was Azariah, met them on the road, and he express to the life his wickedness; and he bade them stop their journey a little : and be- || said, that he should therefore justly experience gan to say to them that the reason why they the like calamity with him ; since he had been had obtained this victory from God was that guilty of the like wickedness. But Baasha, they bad shewn themselves righteous and re- though he heard beforehand what miseries ligious men, and had done every thing ac would befal him and his whole family, for cording to the will of God; that therefore, if their insolent behaviour, yet did not he leave they persevered therein, God would grant off his wicked practices for the time to come; that they should always overcome their ene por did he care to appear to be other than mies, and live happily ; but if they left off his worse and worse till he died; nor did he even worship, all things would fail out on the con then repent of his past actions, nor endeavor trary; and * time should come, wherein no to obtain pardon of God for them ; but did as true prophet should be left in their whole those do, who have rewards proposed to them, multitude; nor a priest who should deliver a when they have once in earnest set about their true answer from the oracle : but their cities work, they do not leave off their labors. For should be overthrown, and their nation scat. thus did Baasha grow worse when the protered over the whole earth, and live the life of phet foretold to him what would come to pass: strangers and wanderers. So he advised as if the threatened perdition of his family, them, while they had time, to be good, and and the destruction of his house were good not to deprive themselves of the favor of God. things; and as if he were a combatant for
+ Chron. *8. 8.
* Here is a very great error. in our Hebrew copy in this, place, 2 Chron. xvi. 3-6, as applying what follows to times past, and not times future.
wickedness, he every day took more and more for when he was at a feast at Arza, his pains for it. And at last he took his army, steward's house, he persuaded some of the and assaulted a certain considerable city call horsemen, that were under him to assault ed Ramah, which was forty furlong's distant Elah; and by that means he slew him when from Jerusalem; and when he had taken it, he was without his armed men, and lis he fortified it; having previously determined | captains. For they were all busied in the to leave a garrison in it, that they might thence siege of Gibbethon, a city of the Philismake excursions, and do mischief to the king- tines. dom of Asa.
When Zimri, the captain of the army, had Hereupon Asa was afraid of the attempts killed Elah, he took the kingdom himself; the enemy might make upon him; and, con and, according to Jehu's prophecy, slew all sidering with himself how many mischiefs this the house of Baasha. For it came to pass army that was left in Ramah might do to that Baasha's house utterly perished, on acthe country over which he reigned, be sent am count of bis impiety, in the same manner as bassadors * to the king of the Damascens, with we have already described the destruction of gold and silver, desiring his assistance, and the house of Jeroboam. But the army that putting him in mind that they had a friend. was besieging Gibbethon, when they heard ship together, † from the times of their fore what had befallen the king, and that when fathers. So he gladly received that sum of Zimri | had killed him he had gained the money; and made a league with him, and kingdom, they bestowed the government on brake the friendship he had with Baasha, and Omri their general, who drew_off his army sent the commanders of his own forces unto from Gibbethon, and came to Tirzah, where the cities that were under Baasha's dominion; the royal palace was, and assaulted the city, and ordered them to do them nischief. So and took it by force. But when Zimri saw they went and burnt some of them, and spoil that the city bad none to defend it, he fed ed others : ljon, Dan, and Abelmaim, I and into the inmost part of the palace, and set it
on fire, and burnt himself with it; I when he Now when the king of Israel heard this, had reigned only seven days. Hereupon the he left off building and fortifying Ramah, people of Israel were presently divided ; and and returned to assist bis
own people part of them would bave Tibni to be king, under the distresses they were in. But Asa and part Omri; but when those who were for made use of the materials that were prepared Omri's ruling had beaten Tibni, Oniri reigned for building that city, for erecting in the same over all the multitude. place two strong cities; the one of which was Now it was in the ** thirtieth year of called Geba, and the other Mizpah. So that the reign of Asa, that Omri reigned for after this Baasha had no leisure to make ex twelve years: six of these years he reignpeditions against Asa, for he was prevented by ed in the city Tirzah, and the rest in death, and was buried in the city Tirzah. 5 the city called Samereon, but named by Elab, his son, took the kingdom ; but when he the Greeks Samaria. But he himself callhad reigned two years, he was treacherously ed it Semareon, from Semer, who sold slain by Zimri, the captain of half his army him the mountain whereon he built it. Now
* About An. 937.
* This Abelmaim, or in Josephus's copy, Abellane, that belonged to the land of Israel, and bordered on the country of Damascus, is supposed both by Hudson and Spanbeim to be the same with Abel or Abila, whence came Abilene, Luc. iji. 1. This may be that city so de. nominated from Abel the righteous, there buried, concerning the shedding of whose blood within the compass of the land of Israel, I understand our Saviour's words, about ibe fatal war and overthrow of Judea by Titus,
VOL. I. (27.)
and his Roman army, " That upon you may come all the
§ 1 Kings xvi. 6.
OF THE IMPIETY OF AHAB KING OF ISRAEL; THE ACTIONS
Omri was no way different from those kings
OF THE PROPHET ELIJAH ; AND THE MURDER OF NA-
decessors, but only in such things as were of Now by these events we may learn what his own invention for the worse, and in his most concern God bath for the affairs of mankind; gross wickedness. He imitated them in their and how he loves good men, and hates the wicked courses, and in their injurious behawicked, and destroys them root and branch. viour towards God; and most especially he w For many of these kings of Israel, they and imitated the transgression of Jeroboam. For their families, were miserably destroyed, and he
he worshipped the heifers that he had made;. taken away one by another, in a short time, and he contrived other absurd object of worfor their transgressions. But Asa who was ship. He also married Jezebel, the daughter king of Jerusalem, and of the two tribes, at of Ethbaal, king of the Tyrians and Sidotained, by God's blessing, a long and a feli- nians; of whom he learnt to worship ber own citous old age, for his piety and his righteous- gods. This woman was active and bold; and ness; and died happily, when he had reigned fell into so great a degree of impurity and forty-one years. And when he was dead, † madness, that she built a temple to the his son Jehosaphat I succeeded him in the god of the Tyrians, which they call Belas, government. He was born of Asa's wife and planted a grove of all sorts of trees: she Bzubah. And all men allowed that he fol also appointed priests and false prophets to lowed the works of David his fore-father, and this god. The king also himself had many this both in courage and piety. But we are such about him; and so exceeded in madness not obliged now to speak any more of the and wickedness all the kings that went before affairs of this king:
Now there was a prophet § of God, of Thesbon, || a country in Gilead, that came to
* An. 919.
+ The words in the text are these, They laid him on the bed, which was filled with sweet odours, and divers kinds of spices, prepared by the apothecaries' art: and they made a great burning for him, 2 Chron. xvi. 26. But then the question is, whether the body itself was burnt, or only some spices and odoriferous drugs to prevent any bad smell that might attend the corpse. The Greeks and Romans indeed, when they burnt any dead bodies, threw frankincense, myrrh, cassia, and other fragrant things into the fire, and this in such abundance, that Pliny, (Nat. Hist. cap. 18,) represents it as a piece of profaneness, to bestow such heaps of frankincense upon, a dead body, when they offered it so sparingly to their gods. The Jews, however, (say the maintainers of this side of the questiow) were accustomed to inter, and not to burn their dead, though they might possibly learn from the Egyptians the usage of burning many spices at their funerals, as we find they did at the fuveral of Zedekiah king of Judah, Jer. xx.siv. 5, but notwithstanding this, some very able commentators are of opinion, that all these spices and perfumes were burnt along with · Asa's
body: and they remark, that among his other offences,
| An. 9i6.
|| Thesbe was a town on the other side of Jordan, in the tribe of Gad, and in the land of Gilead, where this prophet was born, or at least inhabited for some time. Since the Scripture makes no mention either of the quality of his parents the inanner of his education, or his call to the prophetic office, some Jewish doctors have been of opinion that he was an angel sent from heaven, in the midst of the general corruption of the world, to preserve the true worship of God. Others pretend, that he was a priest descended from the tribe of Aaron; that