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Jehu was a man of a furious temper, and as such, a proper instrument for the execution of Divine vengeance; if Israel had continued faithful to the LORD, or would have hearkened to the warnings of the prophets, this violent man would never have had the power to oppress them; but as they were obdurate, it pleased God to raise him up for their chastisement.
* That the world might learn, and Jehu himself remember, that Ahab's race was devoted to destruction for their sins, he received the approbation of the LORD, for the punctual execution of the Divine command, with a promise that his family should continue on the throne for four generations : it might have been expected, that this would have encouraged Jehu to propagate the wor. ship of the LORD, but he retained the worship of the golden calves; for these abominations he was punished with 'ani unquiet' reign, and his subjects were afflicted for their sins by Hazael, the cruel king of Syria, who turned his arms against them, and is supposed, at this time, to have practised some of those bar barities predicted by the prophet Elisha. I
Jehu is thought to have defended his country from its invaders with great spirit and skill; but the records of his reign, which are said to have been written in the chronicles of the kings of Israel, are lost ; therefore it is impossible to obtain farther particulars of him. "It is easy to distinguish the faults in Jehu's conduct. They cannot be imputed to the command of God, as he certainly might have destroyed the family of Ahab, assisted as he was by Almighty power, without employing either deceit or treachery ; he might also have secured his own prosperity, if his behaviour had been thoroughly
* 2 Kings, x.
consistent with his duty as king of Israel, and servant of the LORD JEHOVAH.
THE REIGN OF ATHALIAH QUEEN OF JUDAHA
2 Chronicles, Chap. xxii, xxiii.
AND when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose, sand destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah.
But Jehoshabeath the daughter of the king took Joash, the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in bed-chamber: So Jehoshabeath the daughter of king Jee horam, the wife of Jehoiada the priest (for she was the sister of Ahaziah) hid him from Athaliah, so that she slew him not.
And he was with her hid in the house of the LORD six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land.
And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the LORD and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the LORD, and shewed them the king's son.
And he commanded them, saying, This is the thing that
ye shall do ; a third part of you that enter it on the sabbath shall even be keepers of the watch of the king's
And a third part shall be at the gate of Sur; and a third part at the gate behind the guard : 80'shall ye keep the watch of the house, that it be not broken down.
And two parts of all you that go forth on the sabbath, even they shall keep the watch of the house of the Lord about the king
And ye shall compass the king round about, every man with his weapons in his hand ; and he that cometh within the ranges, let him be slain.' And be:ye with the king as he goeth out, and as he cometh in.
And the captains over the hundreds did according to all things that Jehoiada the priest commanded : and they took every man his men that were to come in on the sabbath, with them that should go out on the sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest.
And to the captains over hundreds did the priest give king David's spear and shields, that were in the temple of the LORD.
And the guard stood every man with his weapons in his hånd, round about the king, from the right corner of the temple to the left corner of the temple, along by the altạr and the temple.
And he brought forth the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they mnade him king, and anointed him ; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king.
And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the temple of the LORD.
And when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced and blew with trumpets. And Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, 'Treason, treason.
But Jehoiada the priest commanded thre captains of the hundreds, the officers of the host, and said unto them, Have her forth without the ranges; and him that followeth her kill with the sword. For the priest had said, Let her not be slain io the house of the Lord.
And they laid hands on her, and she went by the way, by which the horses came into the king's house, and there was she slain.
And Jehoiada made a cogenant between him, and be. tween all the people, and between the king, that they should be the Lord's people.
Then all the people went to the house of Baal, and brake it down, and brake his altars and his images in pieces, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altar.
Also Jehoiada appointed the officers of the house of the Lord by the hand of the priests the Levites, whom David had distributed in the house of the LORD, to offer the burnt offerings of the Lord, as it is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, as it was ordained by David.
And he set the porters at the gates of the house of the Lord, that none which was unclean in any thing should enter in
And he took the captains of hundreds, and the nobles, and the governors of the people, and all the people of the land, and brought down the king from the house of the Lord: and they came through the high gate into the king's house, and set the king upon the throne of the kingdom.
And all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet, after that they had slain -Athaliah with the sword.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
In this section, we may observe the dreadful effects of impiety and ambition. It is remarked, that the affection of parents is generally strongest to the second generation, that they love their grand-children, not only on account of the relation they bear to themselves, but for the sake
of those, whose immediate offspring they are. How shocking is it to read of Athaliah's attempt to cut off the whole race of her's, that she might gratify her boundless ambition; but, as the apostle to the Romans hints*, it is the usual effect of impiety, to root out natural affecvion; and we cannot wonder that she, who could coun. sel her own son to do wickedly, should proceed to this extremity of cruelty. The justice of God, in suffering Athaliah to come to such a wretched end needs no comment, neither is there occasion to enlarge on the faithfulness of the LORD God, displayed in the preservation of Joash. It may however be proper to observe, that this young prince found in the temple an asylum for his helpless innocence, when there was no other place of refuge for him, which is great encouragement to children to put their trust in the LORD, and also to frequent places of public worship. How many by neglecting them, to pursue idle sports, have come to untimely ends!
THE REIGN OF JOASH (CALLED ALSO JEHOASH).
KING OF JUDAH.
From 2 Chron. Chap. xxiv. 2 Kings, Chap. xii.
And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest, and he had two wives, and sons and daughters.
And it came to pass after this, that Joash was minded to repair the house of the LORD.
(For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken up the house of God; and also all the dedicated