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and they fought stoutly, he put the enemy to ped him. And Ahab gave him his hand, and flight and pursued them, and pressed upon made him come up to him in bis chariot, and them, and slew thema Nay, they were de kissed him, and bade him be of good cheer, stroyed by their own chariots, and by one ano and not to expect that any mischief should be ther. And even the few who escaped to their done to bimi. So Benhadad returned him own city Aphek, were also killed by the walls thanks, and professed that he would remember falling upon them, being in number twenty his kindness all the days of his life, and proseven thousand. *

Now there was slain in mised he would restore those cities of the Isthis battle a hundred thousand more. But raelites which the former kings had taken Beobadad, the king of the Syrians, fled away, from tbem; and grant that he should have with certain others of his most faithful servants, leave to come to Damascus, as his forefathers and hid bimself in a cellar under ground. And had come to Samaria. So they confirmed when these told bin that the kings of Israel their covenants by oaths, and Ahab made hiin were humane and merciful men; and that many presents, and sent him back to his own they might make use of the usual manner of kingdom. And this was the conclusion of the supplication, and obtain deliverance from Ahab, war that Benhadad made against Ahab and in case be would give them leave to go to him, the Israelites. he gave them leave , accordingly. So they But a certain prophet whose name was .came to Ahab, clothed in sackcloth, and with Micaiah, I came to one of the Israelites, and ropes

about their heads : † for this was the an bade him smite him on the head; for by so cient manner of supplication among the.. Sy-doing he would please God: but when he rians: and said, that Benhadad desired he would not do so, he foretold to him, that since would save him, and that he would ever be a he disobeyed the commands of God, he should servant to him for that favor. Ahab replied, meet with a lion, and be destroyed by him. he was glad he was alive, and not burt in the When that sad accident had befallen the man, battle. And he further promised him the the prophet came again to another, and gave same honor and kindness that a man would him the same injunction. So he smote him, shew to bis brother. So they received assur and wounded his skull. Upon which he bound ances upon oath from him, that when he came up his head, and came to the king, and told to him he should receive no harm; and then him, that he had been a soldier of his, and had went and brought him out of the cellar where the custody of one of the prisoners committed in be was hid, and brought him to Ahab, as to bim by an officer, and that the prisoner behe sat in his chariot. So Benhadad worship- ing run away, be was in danger of losing his

morniawano * Josephus's number, two niyriaus and seven thousand, Syrians, with ropes or halters about their heads or necks, agrees here with that in our other copies; as those that is, I supposé, no strange thing in later ages, even in our were slain by the falling down of the walls of Aphek. own country. But I suspected at first that this number in Josephus's present copies could not be his original number, because # It is here very remarkable, that in Josephus's copy, he calls them a few: which could hardly be said of so this prophet, whose denunciation of a disobedient permany as 27,000, and because of the improbability of the son's slaughter by a lion bad lately come to pass, was no fall of a particular wall killing so many. Yet when I other than Micaiah, the son of Imlah; who, as he now consider that Josephus's next words, how the rest which denounced God's judgment on disobedient Ahab, seeins were slain in the battle were ten other myriads; that 27,000 directly to have been that very prophet, whom the same are but a few in comparison of 100,000; and that it was Ahab, in 1 Kings xxii. 8–18, complains of, as one whom not a wall, as in our English version, but the wall, or the be hated ; because he did not prophecy good concerning entire walls of the city that fell down, as in all the origi him, but evil; and who, in that chapter, openly repeals nals, I lay aside that suspicion; and firmly believe that his denunciations against him; all which came to pass Josephus bimself_hath, with the rest, given us the just accordingly. Nor is there reason to doubt but this and number 27,000. The Aphek is by Josephus justly called the former were the very same prophet. The other anthe Syrians'city: as probably one of them which our cient Jews agreeing herein with Josephus; as bishop Pa. Bible, and Josephus speak of presently; and which this trick assures us, on 1 Kings xx. 28. This is one of ihose Benhadad's predecessors had taken from the Israelites, very many instances, in which the excellency of Joseand was now to be restored.

phus's Temple copy, above all our other copies, most † This manner of supplication for men's lives among the evidently appears.

own

own life, by the means of that officer ; who ed together the rulers of the country, and the had threatened him, that if the prisoner es priests; and commanded them to go round caped he would kill him. And when Ahab had the land, and teach all the people that were said, that he' would justly die; he took off the under him, city by city, the laws of Moses ; binding about his head, and was known by and to keep them, and to be diligent in the the king to be Micaiah the prophet : who worship of God. With this the whole multimade use of this artifice as a prelude to his tude was pleased, that they were not so eagerfollowing words. For lie said, that God would ly set upon, or affected with any thing so much punish him, who had suffered Benhadad, as the observance of the laws. The neighblasphemer against him, to escape punish- bouring nations also continued to love Jehoment; that he would so bring it about, that shaphat, and to be at peace with him. The he should die by the other's means, and his Philistines paid their appointed tribute; and people by the other's army. * Ahab was very the Arabians supplied bim with tiree hundred angry at the prophet, and gave command that and sixty lambs, § and as many kids of the he should be put in prison, and there kept. | goats. But for himself he was in confusion at the He also fortified the great cities, whichi words of Micaiah, and returned to his own were many in number, and of great consehouse. +

quence : and be prepared a mighty army of

soldiers, and weapons against their enemies. CHAP. XV.

Now the army of men that wore their armor,

was three hundred thousand of the tribe of Jus Or JeHOSHAPHAT, KING OF JERUSALEM; ALSO OF AHAB's dah: of whom Adnah was the chief. But

John was chief of two hundred thousand. Il

The same man was chief of the tribe of BenI

NOW return to Jehoshaphat, king of Je- jamin; and had two hundred thousand archers

rusalem; who augmented his kingdom, under him. There was another chief, whose and set garrisons in the cities of the country. name was Jehozabad, who had a hundred and belonging to his subjects; and put no less eighty thousand armed men. This multitude garrisons into those cities which were taken was distributed to be ready for the king's serout of the tribe of Ephraim, by his grand-vice; besides those whom he sent to the best father Abijah, when Jeroboam reigned over fortified cities. the ten tribes, than he did in the other. But Jehoshaphat took for his son Jehoram to then he had God favorable and assisting to wife, Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab, king him; as being both righteous and religious, of the ten tribes. And when, after somo and seeking to do somewhat every day that time, he went to Samaria, Ahab received him should be agreeable and acceptable to God. courteously, and treated the army that follow, . The neighbouring kings also honored him with ed him in a splendid manner; with great presents till the riches that he had acquired plenty of corn and wine, and of slain beasts; were immensely great, and the glory he had and desired that he would join with him in the gained was of a most exalted nature.

war against the king of Syria; that he might Now, in the third year of his reign, he call recover from him the city of Ramoth, in Gia

EXPEDITION AGAINST THE SYRIANS, AND HIS DEFEAT AND
DEATH.

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* What is most remarkable in this history, and in many histories on other occasions in the Old Testament, is that during the Jewish theocracy, Gud acted entirely as the supreme king of Israel, and the supreme general of their armies, and always expected that the Israelites should be in such absolute subjection to him, their supreme and heavenly king, and general of their armies, as subjects and soldiers are to their earthly kings and generals; and that usually without knowing ihe particular reasons of, their injunctions. See Dr. Harris's Queries, 8-22, after his comment on Is. liii. My Commentary on the

book of Job, and my Scripture Politics, page 4–7, where
he will see that the particolar Jewish theocracy did not
commence till the rest of the idolatrous and wicked
world had rejected that general theocracy, which till then
estended over all mankind.
+ 1 Kings xx. 43.

About An. 914.
Ś Seven thousand ansl seven hundred, Heb. and Sep-
tuagint. 2 Chron. xvii, 11.

| Two hundred and eighty thousand, 2 Chron, xvik 15.

:

lead:

lead. For though it had belonged to his fa- l of Syria; and that for this cause he had him ther, yet had the king of Syria's father taken now in prison : and that his name was Micaiah, it away from him. And upon Jehoshaphat's the son of Imlah. But upon Jehoshaphat's promise to afford him his assistance, (for in- || desire that he might be produced, Ahab sent deed his army was not inferior to the other's,) an eunuch, who brought Micaiah to him. and his sending for his army from Jerusalem | Now the eunuch had informed him by the to Samaria, the two kings went out of the way, that all the other prophets had foretold city: and each of them sat on his own throne, { that the king should gain the victory. But and each gave their orders to the respective he said, it was not lawful for him to lie against armies. Now Jehoshapbat bade them call God; but that he must speak what he should the prophets, if there were any there ; and say to him about the king, whatsoever it were. enquire of them concerning this expedition || When he came to Ahab, and he adjured him against the king of Syria, whether they would upon oath, to speak the truth to him, he said

make the expedition at that God had shewn to him the Israelites runthis time. For there, was peace at that time ) ning away, and pursued by the Syrians, and between Ahab and the king of Syria, which dispersed upon the mountains by them, as are had lasted three years, from the time he had ) Mocks of sheep dispersed when their shepherd taken him captive till that day.

is slain. He said farther, that God signified So Ahalı called his own prophets, being in to him, † that those Israelites should return in number about four hundred, * and bade them peace to their own home, and that he only enquire of God whether he would grant him) should fall in the battle. When Micaiah had the victory, if he made an expedition against thus spoken, Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “I Benhadad, and enable hiin to overthrow that told thee a little while ago the disposition of city, for whose sake it was that he was going the man with regard to me, and that he uses to war. Now these prophets gave their coun to prophesy evil to me." Upon which Micaiah sel for making this expedition ; and said, that replied, that he ought to hear all, whatsoever he would defeat the king of Syria, and, as for it be that God foretells; and that in particular, merly, would reduce him under his power. they were false prophets who encouraged him. But Jehoshaphat, understanding by their to make this war, in hope of victory : whereas : words that they were false prophets, asked he must fight and be killed. But Zedekiah, Abab, whether there were not some other pro one of those false prophets, came near, and phet belonging to the true God ? that they exhorted bim not to hearken to Micaiah, for might have surer information concerning fu- || he did not at all speak truth. As a demonturities. Ahab said, there was indeed such stration of which, lie instanced in what Eliaan one, but that he hated him, as having pro- jah had said, † who was a better prophet in phesied evil to him; and having foretold that foretelling futurities than Micaiah; for he he should be overcome, and slain by the king || foretold that the dogs should lick his blood im

* 1 Kings xxii, 6.

tle, as all thy prophets advise thee; expect the success

which they promise thee, and try the truth of their pre-+ Micaiah's answer to Ahab, enquiring of him the suc- dictions by thy dear bought experience.? Pool's Anno.cess of his intended expedition, is, Go, and prosper; for tations, B; the Lord shall deliver the city into the hands of the king, 1 Kings xxii. 15, which does not at all contradict the These reasonings of Zedekiah, the false prophet, in: other prophets, had it been spoken in earnest; but we order to persuade Ahab not to believe Micaiah the true have good reason to believe, that the words were spoken prophet, are plausible: but, being oniitted in our other ironically, and in mockery to the promises which the copies, we cannot now tell whence Josephus had them;: other prophets made Abab. Accordingly, we may ob whether from his own temple copy, from some other oriserve by Ahab's reply, that he suspected Micaiah's sid ginal author, or from certain ancient notes. That some cerity, and, either by his gesture or manner of speaking, such plausible objection was now raised against Micaiah, gathered, that his meaning was to traduce these false pro is very likely; otherwise Jehoshaphat;. who used to disphets for their answers, so that Micaiah's answer is in. believe all such false prophets, could never have been effect, as if he had said, Since thou dost not seek to induced to accompany Ahab in these desperate circumknow the truth, but only to please thyself, go ļo the bat. stances. VOL. 1. (28.)

40

the

!

tude ;

the city Jezreel, in the field of Naboth ; as pitched his camp' not far from Ramoth. Now they licked the blood of Naboth, who by bis Ahab and Jehoshaphat had agreed, that Ahab means was there stoned to death by the multi- | should lay aside his royal robes ; § but that

* that therefore it was plain that this the king of Jerusalem should put on his Micaiah was a liar, as contradicting a greater (Ahab's) proper habit, and stand before the prophet than bimself; and saying that he army, in order to disprove, by this artifice, should be slain at three days' journey distance. what Micaiah had foretoldt. But Ahab's fate And," said he," you shall soon know whether found him out, without his robes. Fór Benhe be a true prophet, and bath the power of hadad, the king.of Assyria, had charged his

. the Divine Spirit; for I will suite him, and army, by the means of iheir commanders, to let him then hurt my band, as Jadon caused kill nobody else: but only the king of Israel. the hand of Jeroboam the king to wither, So when the Syrians, upon their joining batwhen he would have caught him: for I sup- 1 tle with the Israelites, saw Jeboshaphat stand pose thou hast certainly heard of that acci. before the army, and conjectured that he was dent.”. So when,

So when, upon his suiting Micaiah, Ahab, they fell violently upon him, and enno harm happened to him, Ahab took corage, compassed himn round.

But when they were and readily led his army against the king of near, and knew that it was not he, they all Syria. For, as I suppose, † fate was too harul returned back. And while the fight lasted for him; and made him believe that the false from the morning light, tiil·late in the evenpropbets spake truer than the true one; that ing, and the Syrians were conquerors, they it inight take an occasion of bringing him to killed nobody; as their king ha: commanded his end. However Zedekiah made horns of them. And when they sought to kill Abab · iron, and saisd 10 Abab, that God made those | alone, but could not find him, there was à horns,signals; that hy them he should over young nobleman belonging to king Berbadad, throw all Syrią. But Micaiah replied, that whose name was Naaman: he drew bis bow Zedekiah, in a few days, should go from one against the enemy, and wounded the king secret chamber to another, to hide himself, through his breast-plate, in his lungs. Upon that he might escape the punishment of his bis Anab resolved not to make his mischance lying. Then did the king give order that known to his army lest they should run away. they shoold take Micaiah away, and guard But he bade the driver of his chariot to turn it him to.Amon, the governor of the city; and back, and carry him out of the battle, because give him nothing but bread and water. I he was mortalty wounded. || However be sat

Then Ahab and Jehoshaphat the king of in his chariot, and endured the pain till sunset, Jerusalem took their forces, and marched to and then he fainted away and died. Ramoth, a city of Gilead. And when the At the approach of night the Syrian army king of Syria heard of this expedition, he retired to their camp: and when the herald brought out his army to oppose them; and belonging to the camp gave notice that Ahab

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* There is a great dispute among the learned, as to + Or Divine Provnence. the accomplishment of this prophecy. Al first, it was, no 1 Kings xxii 27. doubt, intended to be literally fulfilled; but upon Ahab's Ś This reading of Josephus's, and of the Septuagints repentancë, as we find below, ihe punishment was trans thai Jehoshaphat put on, nou his own, but Ahab's robess ferred from him to his son Jehoram, in whom it was ac in order lo appear to be Ahab, while Ahab was without tually accomplished; for bis dead body was cast into the any robes at all, and hoped thereby to escape his own evil portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite, for the dogs ) fate, and disprove Micaiah's prophecy against him, is to devour, 2 Kinys ix, 25. Since Ahab's blood therefore exceeding probable. It gives great light also to this was licked by dogs, mot at Jezreel, but at Samaria, it whole history : and shews, that although Abab hoped seems necessary that we should understand the Hebrew | Jehoshaphat would be mistaken for him, ani run the only word which our translation renders in the place where, risk of being slain in the battle, yet was he entirely disapnot as denoting the place, but the manner in which the pointed: white still the escape of the good man, Jehoshthing was done; and so the sense of țhe passage will be- || aphat, and the slanghåer of the bad man, Ahab, demons That as dogs licked, or in like manner as dogs licked || strated the great distinction that Divine Providence made Naboth's blood; even so shall they lick thipe; observe | betwixt them. what I say, even thine. Pool's Annot. B.

H.1 Kings xxii. 34.

was

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was dead, they returned home. And they | ous than the gift of prophecy, and that fore-
took the dead body of Ahab to Samaria, and knowledge of future events which is derived
buried it there, but when they had washed from it. Since God shews men thereby what.
his chariot in the fountain of Jezreel, which they ought to avoid.. We may also, from,
was bloody with the dead body of the king; what happened to this king, consider the power
they acknowledged that the prophecy of Eli- of fate ; t that there is no way of avoiding it,
jah was true, for the dogs licked bis blood, even when we know it. It creeps upon hu-
and the barlots continued afterward to wash man souls, and flatters them with pleasing
themselves in that fountain. But still he died hopes, till it leads them about to the place
at Ramoth, as Micaiah had foretold. And as whence it will be too hard for them. Accord-
what things were * foretold should happen to ingly Ahab appears to have been deceived,
Ahab by the two prophets came to pass, we thereby, till he disbelieved those that predict-
ought thence to have exalted notions of God sed his defeat; but by giving credit to such
and every where to honor and worship him, | as foretold what was grateful to him,
and never to suppose that what is pleasant and was slain; and his son Abaziah succeeded
agreeable is worthy of belief before what is him.
true : and to esteena nothing more advantage

he,

BOOK IX .

Containing an Interval of One Hundred and Fifty-seven Years.

FROM THE DEATH OF AHAB TO THE CAPTIVITY OF THE TEN TRIBES.

CHAP, İ.

cause of his own disposition, which was good.

Hereupon the king betook himself to thanks. OF JEHOSHAPHAT'S piduS CONDUCT ; HIS APPOINTMENT OF

givings, and sacrifices to God; and soon afterJUDGES, AND HIS VICTORIES OVER HIS ENEMIES. ward went over all that country which he

ruled round about, and taught the people, to WHEN Jehoshaphat was come to Jeru. observe the laws which God gave them by

salem, from the assistance he had af. Moses, and that religious worship that was forded Abab, king of Israel, against the Sy- due to him. He also appointed judges in all rians; the prophet Jehu met him, and accused the cities of his kingdom; and charged them him for assisting an impious prince ; and said to have regard to nothing so much in judging to him, that God was displeased with him for the multitude as to do justice, and not to be so doing, but that he delivered him from the moved by bribes, nor by the dignity of men enemy, notwithstanding he bad sinned, be: eininent for either their birth or riches; but onuna

handbonaderna * We kave here a very wise reflection of Josephus's without repentance, they are ever, by Providence, infaabout Divine Providence; and what is derived from it, tuated to bring about their own destruction. And there. Prophecy; and the inevitable certainty of its accomplish | by withal to demonstrate the perfect veracity of that God ment: and that when the wicked men think they take whose predictions they endeavor to elude. proper methods to elude what is denounced against them, and to escape the Divine judgments thereby threatened, + Or Divine Providence:

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