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The Prophecy to Jeroboam

BY B. PICART, A DUTCH ARTIST, DIED 1734.

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And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces.1. Kings, 11, 30. N SOLOMON'S degenerate old age there appeared

at his court, a capable and energetic young man

named Jeroboam. He was to be the chief figure in the next generation, the leader in that fatal division of Israel into two kingdoms, which made her an easy prey to her enemies. Jeroboam was of the tribe of Ephraim, the most powerful of the northern tribes, Judah's perpetual rival for supremacy. The youth was the son of one of Solomon's servants; but so capable did he prove, that Solomon set him as ruler over all of his tribe in Jerusalem.

One day as Jeroboam walked alone outside the city, he met Ahijah, the “prophet" of the ancient shrine of Shiloh. At sight of Jeroboam, Ahijah, who was wearing a new garment, rent this into twelve pieces, typical of the twelve tribes of Israel. He then handed the astonished youth ten of the fragments, prophesying that thus should Jeroboam rule over ten of Israel's tribes, that Solomon for his wickedness had deserved to lose all, yet because of David's goodness, his descendants should still be kings over their own tribe of Judah and the associated tribe of Benjamin.

News of this prophecy reached Solomon, but instead of rousing him to repentance it increased his stubborn folly. He sought to slay Jeroboam. So the young man fled, and dwelt in Egypt until Solomon's death.

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SECOND CHRONICLES XXIX-HEZEKIAH'S REFORMS

803

Chapter 29

1 Hezekiah's good reign. 3 He restoreth religion. 5 He exhorteth the Levites. 12 They sanctify themselves, and cleanse the house of God. 20 Hezekiah offereth solemn sacrifices, wherein the Levites were more forward than the priests.

SEZEKIAH began to reign when he was five and twenty years

old, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem. And

his mother's name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. 2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.

3 | He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them.

4 And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street,

5 And said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.

6 For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs.

7 Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place unto the God of Israel.

8 Wherefore the wrath of the LORD was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes.

9 For, lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this.

10 Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us.

11 My sons, be not now negligent: for the LORD hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.

12 Then the Levites arose, Mahath the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites: and of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehalelel: and of the Gershonites; Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden the son of Joah:

13 And of the sons of Elizaphan; Shimri, and Jeiel: and of the sons of Asaph; Zechariah, and 'Mattaniah:

14 And of the sons of Heman; Jehiel, and Shimei: and of the sons of Jeduthun; Shemaiah and Uzziel.

15 And they gathered their brethren, and sanctified themselves, and came, according to the commandment of the king, by the words of the LORD, to cleanse the house of the LORD.

16 And the priests went into the inner part of the house of the

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