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t c, 16. 5. u ver. 27. c Deut. 12. 31. Ps. 106. 35.
the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel, began 'Jotham the son of maliah, Ahaz, the son of Jotham king of Judah Uzziah king of Judah to reign.
began to reign. 33 Five and twenty years old was he when he ż Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Je- to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, rusalem: and his mother's name was Jerusha, the and did not that which was right in the sight of the daughter of Zadok.
Lord his God, like David his father. 34 And he did that which was right in the sight 3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Isof the Lord: he did according to all that his father rael; yea, and made his son to “pass through the Uzziah had done.
fire, according to the abomination of the heathen, 35 Howbeit, the high places were not removed : whom the LORD cast out from before the children the people sacrificed and burnt incense still in the of Israel. high places. He built the higher gate of the house 4 And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the of the LORD.
high places, and don the hills, and under every green 36 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all tree. that he did, are they not written in the book of the 5 Then <Rezin king of Syria, and Pekah son of chronicles of the kings of Judah?
Remaliah king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to 37 In those days the Lord began to send against war; and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overJudah, Rezin "the king of Syria, and Pekah uthe come him. son of Remaliah.
6 At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered 38 And Jotham slept with his fathers, and was Elath Sto Syria, and drave the Jews from 'Elath: buried with his fathers in the city of David his fa- and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there ther : and Ahaz his son reigned in his stead. unto this day. CHAPTER XVI.
7 So Ahaz sent messengers to *Tiglath-pileser
king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant, and thy This chapter is wholly takes up with the reign of Abaz ; and we bave guide enough to son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the himself one of the worst of the king of Judah. 1. He was a notorious idolater king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of king of Assyria to invade Syrin and Israel, 2.3_.* 4111. He took pattern, from Israel, which rise up against me. 10–16. IV. He abused and embezzled the furniture of the temple, v. 17, 18. found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasures
8 And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was And so his story euds, v. 19, 20. ( 2 Chr. 27. 1, c. * At the end of Jotham's reign.
d Deut 12. 2. 1 Kings 14. 23. els 7.1, fc. 10.11.22. Elous. 1 Tilgaik pile * 2 Chr. 28. 1, &c. b Lev. 18. 21. Ps. 106. 37, 38.
ser, I Chr. 5. 25, &c. 2 Chr. 28. 20, Tilgath-pilneser. & c. 15. 29. A c. 12. 18. V. 32–38. We have here a short account of the reign of and family, which therefore was really a reproach to him; (DeJotham king of Judah, of whom we are told,
generanti genus opprobrium- A good extraction is a disgrace to 1. That he reigned very well, did that which was right in the him who degenerates from it;) and that though he enjoyed the sight of the Lord, v. 34. Josephus gives him a very high cha- benefit of David's piety, he did not tread in the steps of i!. racter, that he was pious toward God, just toward men, and laid 2. That he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, (v. 3,) out himself for the public good; that, whatever was amiss, he who all worshipped the calves. He was not joined in any affinity took care to have it rectified; and, in short, wanted no virtuo with them, as Jehoram and Ahaziah were with the house of that became a good prince. "Though the high places were not Ahab, but ex mero motu-without any instigation, walked in taken away, yet, to draw people from them, and keep them their way. The kings of Israel pleaded policy and reasons of close to God's holy place, he showed great respect to the lem- state for their idolatry, but Ahaz had no such pretence, in him ple, and built the higher gate which he went through to the it wasthe most unreasonable impolitic thing that could be. They temple. If inagistrates cannot do all they would, for the sup were his enemies, and had proved enemies to themselves too pressing of vice and profaneness, let them do so much the more by their idolatry; yet he walked in their way. for the support and advancement of piety and virtue, and bring 3. That he made his sons to pass through the fire, to the hoing of them into reputation. If they cannot pull down the high nour of his dunghill deities. He burned them, so it is expressly places of sin, yet let them build and beautify the high gate of said of him, 2 Chr. 28. 3, burned some of them, and perhaps God's house,
made others of them, (Hezekiah himself not excepted, though 2. That he died in the midst of his days, v. 38. Of most of the afterward he was never the worse for it,) to pass between two kings of Judah we are told how old they were when they began fires, or to be drawn through a flame, in token of their dedicatheir reign, and by that may compute how old they were when tion to the idol. they died; but no account is kept of the age of any of the kings 4. That he did according to the abomination of the heathen of Israel, (that I remember,) only of the years of their reigns. whom the Lord had cast out. It was an instance of his great folly, This honour God would put upon the kings of the house of David that he would be guided by those in his religion, and follow above those of other families. And by these accounts it appears them, whom he saw fallen into the ditch before his eyes; and that there was none of all the kings of Judah, that reached Da- of his great impiety, that he would conform to those usages which vid's age, 70, the common age of man. Asa's age I do not find, God had declared to be abominable to him; and set himself 10 Uzziah lived to be 68, Manasseh 67, and Jehoshaphat 60; and write after the copy of those whom God bad cast out, thus these were the three oldest; many of them that were of note, walking directly contrary to God. did not reach 50. This Jotham died at 41. He was too great 5. That he sacrificed in the high places, v. 4. If his father a blessing to be continued long to such an unworthy people. His bad but had zeal enough to take them away, it might have predeath was a judgment, especially considering the character of vented the debauching of his sons : but they that connive ar sin, his son and successor.
know not what dangerous snares they lay for those that come 3. That in his days the confederacy was formed against Judah after them. He forsook God's house, was weary of that place by Rezin, and Remaliah's son, the king of Syria, and the king where, in his father's time, he had often been detained before of Israel, which appeared so very formidable in the beginning the Lord, and performed his devotions on high hills, where he of the reign of Ahaz, that, upon notice of it, the heart of that had a better prospect, and under green trees, where he had a prince was moved, and the heart of the people, as the trees of the more pleasant shade. It was a religion little worth, which was wood are moved with the wind, Is. 7. 2. The confederates guided by fancy, not by faith. were unjust in the attempt, yet it is here said, (v. 37,) The V. 5-9. Here is, i. The attempt of his confederate neighLord began to send them against Judah, as he bade Shimei bours, the kings of Syria and Israel, upon him. They thought curse David, and took away from Job what the Sabeans robbed to have made themselves masters of Jerusalem, and to have set him of. Men are God's hand, the sword, the rod, in his hand, a king of their own in it, Is. 7. 6. In that, they fell short, but which he makes use of as he pleases, to serve his own righteous the king of Syria recovered Elath, a considerable port upon counsels, though men be unrighteous in their intentions. This the Red sea, which Amaziah had taken from the Syrians, ch. storm gathered in the reign of pious Jotham, but he came to his 14. 22. What can they keep, that have lost their religion? Let grave in peace, and it fell upon his degenerate son.
them expect, thenceforward, to be always on the losing hand.
2. His project to get clear of them. Having forsaken God, NOTES TO CHAPTER XVI.
he had neither courage nor strengih to make head against his V. 1-4. We have here a general character of the reign of enemies, nor could he, with any boldness, ask help of God, but Ahaz, few and evil were his days: few, for he died at 36; evil, he made his court to the king of Assyria, and got him to come for we are here told,
in for his relief. Those whose hearts condemn them, will go 1. That he did not that which was right, like David, (v. 2 ;) any whither in a day of distress, rather than to God. Was it that is, he had none of that concern and affection for the insti- because there was not a God in Israel, that he sent to the Astuted service and worship of God, which David was famous for. syrian for help? Was the Rock of ages removed out of its place, He had no love for the temple, made no conscience of his duty that he stayed himself on this broken reed? The sin itself was to God, nor had any regard to his law. Herein he was unlike its own punishment; for though it is true that he gained his David; it was his honour, that he was of the house and lineage point, (the king of Assyria hearkened to him, and, to serve his of David, and it was owing to God's ancient covenant with own turn, made a descent upon Damascus, whereby he gave a David, that he was now upon the throne, which aggravated his powerful diversion to the king of Syria, v. 9,) and obliged him wickedness, that he was a reproach to that honourable name io let fall his design against Ahaz, carrying the Syrians captiva
• Damnesek. 16, 19.
k Ps. 106. 39.
of the king's house, and sent it for a present to the sprinkled the blood of this peace-offerings, upon the king of Assyria.
altar. 9 And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him; 14 And he brought also the brazen altar, which for the king of Assyria went up against *Damascus, was before the Lord, from the fore-front of the and took it, and carried the people of it captive to house, from between the altar and the house of the Kir, and slew Rezin.
LORD, and put it on the north side of the altar. 10 And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet 15 And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar saying, Upon the great altar burn the morning that was at Damascus : and king Ahaz sent to burnt-offering, and the evening meat-offering, and Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the the king's burnt-sacrifice, and his meat-offering, pattern of it, according to all the workmanship with the burnt-offering of all the people of the land, thereof.
and their meat-offering, and their drink-offerings; 11 And Urijah the priest built kan altar accord- and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt-offering to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: ing, and all the blood of the sacrifice : and the braso Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came zen altar shall be for me to inquire by: from Damascus.
16 Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that 12 And when the king was come from Damascus, king Ahaz commanded. the king saw the altar: and the king approached 17 And .king Ahaz cut off the borders of the to the altar, and offered thereon.
bases, and removed the laver from off' them; and 13 And he burnt his burnt-offering, and his took down the sea from off the brazen oxen that meat-offering, and poured his drink-offering, and were under it, and put it upon a pavement of stones : i Foretold, Am. 1.5.
I Num. 18. 3. 2 Chr. 26. I the peace offerings which were his. m 2 Chr, 4. I. n Ex. 29. 39—41.
01 Kings 7. 23, 28. to Kir, as Amos had expressly foretold, (ch. 1.5,) yet, consider this altar, in compliance with an idolatrous prince. For hereby, ing all, he made but a bad bargain; for, to compass this, 1. He prostituted his authority, and profaned the crown of his
(1.) He enslaved himself; (v.7,) I am thy servant and thy priesthood, making himself a servant to the lusts of men. There son ; that is, “I will be as dutiful and obedient to thee as to a is not a greater disgrace to the ministry, than obsequiousness master or father, if thou wilt but do me this good turn." Had to such wicked commands as this was. 2. He betrayed his he thus humbled himself to God, and implored his favour, he trust. As priest, he was bound to maintain and defend God's might have been delivered upon easier terms; he might have institutions, and to oppose and witness against all innovations; saved his money, and needed only to have parted with his sins: and for him to assist and serve the king, in setting up an allar but if the prodigal forsake his faiher's house, he soon becomes to confront the altar which, by divine appointment, he was a slave to the worst of masters, Luke 15. 15.
consecrated to minister at, was such a piece of treachery and (2.) He impoverished himself; for he took the silver and gold perfidiousness, as may justly render him infamous to all posthat were laid up in the treasury both of the temple and of the terity. Had he only connived at the doing of it, had he been kingdom, and sent it to the king of Assyria, v. 8. Both church frightened into it by menaces, had he endeavoured to dissuade and state must be squeezed and exhausted, to gratify this his the king from it, or but delayed the doing of it till he came new patron and guardian. I know not what authority he had home, that he might first talk with him about it, it had not been thus to dispose of the public stock ; but it is common for those so bad; but so willingly to walk after his commandment, as if that have brought themselves into straits by one sin, to help he were glad of the opportunity to oblige him, was such an themselves out by another; and those that have alienated them- affront to the God he served, as was utterly inexcusable. selves from God, will make no difficulty of alienating any of his III. The dedicating of it. Urijah, perceiving that the king's rights.
heart was much upon it, took care to have it ready against he V.10–16. Though Ahaz had himself sacrificed in high places, came down, and set it near the brazen altar, but somewhat on hills, and under every green tree, (v. 4,) yet God's aliar had lower and further from the door of the temple. The king was hitherto continued in its place, and in use, and the king's burnt- exceedingly pleased with it, approached to it with all possible offering and his meal-offering, (v. 15,) had been offered upon veneration, and offered thereon his burnt-offering, &c. v. 12, it by the priests that attended it; but here we have it taken away 13. His sacrifices were not offered to the God of Israel, but to by wicked Ahaz, and another altar, an idolatrous one, put in the the gods of Damascus, (as we find, 2 Chr. 28. 23;) and when room of it-a bolder stroke than the worst of the kings had yet he borrowed the Syrians' altar, no marvel that he borrowed given to religion. We have here,
their gods. Naaman, the Syrian, embraced the God of Israel, I. The model of this new altar, taken from one at Damascus, when he got earth from the land of Israel to make an altar of. by the king himself, v. 10. The king of Assyria having taken IV. The removal of God's allar, to make room for it. UriDamascus, thither Abaz went, to congratulate him on his suc- jah was so modest, that he put this altar at the lower end of cess, to return him thanks for the kindness he had done him by the court, and left God's altar in its place, between this and the this expedition, and, as his servant and son, to receive his com- house of the Lord, v. 14. But that would not satisfy Ahaz; he mands. Had he been faithful to his God, he had not needed to removed God's aliar to an obscure corner, in the north side of have crouched thus to a foreign power. At Damascus, either the court, and put his own before the sanctuary, in the place of while viewing the rarities of the place, or rather while joining it. He thinks his new altar is much more stately, and much with them in their devotion, (for when he was there, he thought more sightly, and disgraces that; and therefore let that be laid it no harm to do as they did,) he saw an altar that pleased his aside as a vessel in which there was no pleasure. His superfancy extremely, not such a plain old-fashioned one as that which stitious invention at first justled with, but at length justled out, he had been trained up in an attendance upon at Jerusalem, but God's sacred institution. Note, Those will soon come to make curiously carved, it is likely, and adorned with image work ; nothing of God, that will not be content to make him their all. there were many things about it which were significant, he Ahaz durst not (perhaps for fear of the people) quite demolish thought, surprising, charming, and calculated to excite his devo- the brazen altar, and knock it to pieces; but while he ordered tion. Solomon had but a dull fancy, he thinks, compared with all the sacrifices to be offered upon his new altar, (v. 15,) The the ingenious artist that made this altar. Nothing will serve brazen allar (says he) shall be for me to inquire by. Having him but he must have an altar just like this; a pattern of it must thrust it out from the use for which it was instituted, which be taken immediately; he cannot stay till he returns himself, was to sanctify the gifts offered upon it, he pretends to advance but sends it before him in all haste, with orders to Urijah the it above its institution, which it is common for superstitious priest to get one made exactly according to this model, and have people to do. The altar was never designed for an oracle, yet it ready against he came home. The pattern God showed to Ahaz will have it for that use. The Romish church seemMoses in the mount, or lo David by the Spirit, was not compa- ingly magnifies Christ's sacraments, yet wretchedly corrupts rable to this pattern sent from Damascus. The hearts of idola-them. But some give another sense of Ahaz's purpose ; " As ters walked after their eyes, which are therefore said to go a for the brazen altar, I will consider what to do with it, and give whoring after their idols ; but the true worshippers worship the order about it." The Jews say, that, afterward, of the brass true God by faith.
of it he made that famous dial, which was called the dial of II. The making of it by Urijah the priest, v. 11. This Uri- Ahaz, ch. 20. 11. The base compliance of the poor-spirited jah, it is likely, was the chief priest, who, at this time, presided priest with the presumptuous usurpations of an ill-spirited king, in the temple service. To him Ahaz sent an intimation of his is again taken notice of ; (v. 16,) Urijah the priest did accordmind, (for we read not of any express orders he gave him,) to ing to all that king Ahaz commanded. Miserable is the case get an altar made by this pattern. And, without any dispute, of great men, when those that should reprove them for their or objection, he put it in hand immediately, being perhaps as fond sins, strengthen and serve them in their sins. of it as the king was, at least, being very willing to humour the V.17–20. Here is, 1. Ahaz abusing the temple : not the buildking, and desirous to curry favo ir with him. Perhaps he might ing itself, but some of the furniture of it. (1.) He defaced the have this excuse for gratifying the king herein, that, by this bases on which the lavers were set, (1 Kings 1.28,29,) and took means, he might keep hin to the temple at Jerusalem, and pre- down the molten sea, v. 17. These the priests used for washing ; vent his totally deserting it for the high places and the groves. against them therefore he seems to have had a particular spite. Let us oblige him in this," (thinks Urijah,) "and then he It is one of the greatest prejudices that can be done to religion, will bring all his sacrifices to us; for by this craft we get our to obstruct the purifying of the priests, the Lord's ministers. living." But, whatever pretence he had, it was a most base, | (2.) He removed the covert for the sabbath; erected either in wicked thing for him that was a priest, a chief priost, to inake honour of the sabbath, or for the conveniency of the priests, VOL. I.-115
( 913 )
bc. 18. 9.
e c. 18. 10, 11, Foretold Hos. 13. 16.
p 2 Chr. 29. 27 2 Sam. 8.2.
18 And the covert for the sabbath that they had 2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of built in the house, and the king's entry without, the Lord, but not as the kings of Israel that were turned he from the house of the Lord for the king before him. of Assyria.
3 Against him came up Shalmaneser king of As19 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he syria ; and Hoshea became his servant, and gave did, are they not written in the book of the chro- him tpresents, nicles of the kings of Judah?
4 Ånd the king of Assyria found conspiracy in 20 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was Hoshea : for he had sent messengers to So king of buried with his fathers in the city of David : and Egypt, and brought no present to the king of AsHezekiah bis son reigned in his stead.
syria, as he had done year by year: therefore the
king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in CHAPTER XVII.
prison. This chapter gives us an account of the captivity of the ten tribes, and so hoishes 5 Then the king of Assyria came up throughout
the history of that kiugulum, after it had continued about 265 years, from the setting up of Jeruboa in the son of Nebut. In it, we have, 1. A short narrative all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged of this destruction, v. 1-6. II. Remarks upuo it, and the causes ole it for barn it three years. Justitying of Golin it, and for warning to others, v. 7-23. III. An account of the nations which sucecelodd them in the posscasion of their land, and the mon 6 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Asgrel religiou set up among them, v. 24-41.
syria took Samaria, and“ carried Israel away into the twelfth year of Ahaz, king of Judah, began Assyria, and placed them in Halah,' and in Habor over Israel nine years.
7 For so it was, that the children of Israel had e After an interregnum, c. 15. 30. • rendered,
d Lev. 26. 32, 33, Deut. 29. 36, 64. 23. ľ or, tribute.
27, 28, e 1 Chr. 5. 26. when, on the sabbath they officiated in greater numbers than v. 4. Had the king and people of Israel applied themselves to on other days. Whatever it was, it should seem that in remov- God, made their peace with bim, and their prayers to him, ing it, he intended to put a contempt upon the sabbath, and they might have recovered their liberty, ease, and honour; bui so to open as wide an inlet as any other to all manner of im- they withheld their tribute, and trusted to the king of Egypt to picty. (3.) The king's entry, which led to the house of the assist them in their revolt, which, if it had taken effeci, had Lord, for the convenience of the royal family, (perhaps, that been but to change their oppressors. But Egypt became to ascent which Solomon bad made, and which the queen of Sheba them the staff of a broken reed. This provoked the king of admired, 1 Kings 10.5,) he turned another way, to show that Assyria to proceed against them with more severity. Men he did not intend to frequent the house of the Lord any more. get nothing by struggling with the net, but entangle themselves This he did for the king of Assyria, to oblige him, who perhaps the more. returned his visit, and found fault with this entry, as an incon V. That it was an utter destruction that came upon them. venience and disparagement to his palace. When those that 1. The king of Israel was made a prisoner; he was shut up have had a ready passage to the house of the Lord, to please and bound; being, it is probable, taken by surprise, before their neighbours, turn it another way, they are going down the Samaria was besieged. hill apace toward their ruin.
2. The land of Israel was made a prey. The army of the 2. Ahaz resigning his life in the midst of his days, at 36 king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and made years of age, (v. 19,) and leaving his kingdom to a beiter man, themselves masters of it, (v. 5,) and used them as traitors Hezekiah his son, (v. 20,) who proved as much a friend to the punished with the sword of justice, rather than as fair enemies. temple, as he had been an enemy to it. Perhaps this very son 3. The royal city of Israel was besieged, and, at length, he had made to pass through the fire, and thereby dedicated taken. Three years it held out, after the country was conhim to Moloch; but God, by his grace, snatched him as a brand quered, and, no doubt, a great deal of misery they endured in out of the burning.
that time, which is not particularly recorded; but the very
brevity of the story, and the passing of this matter over lightly, NOTES TO CHAPTER XVII.
methinks, intimate that they were abandoned of God, and he V.1-6. We have here the reign and ruin of Hoshea, the did not now regard the affliction of Israel, as sometimes he had last of the kings of Israel, concerning whom observe,
donc. I. That though he forced his way to the crown by treason 4. The people of Israel were carried captives into Assyria, and murder, (as we read ch. 15. 30,) yet he gained not the v. 6. The generality of the people, those that were of any possession of it till seven or eight years after; for it was in the note, were forced away into the conqueror's country, to be slaves fourth year of Ahaz that he slew Pekah, but did not himself and beggars there. (1.) Thus he was pleased to exercise a begin to reign till the 12th year of Ahaz, v.1. Whether by the dominion over them, and to show that they were entirely at his king of Assyria, or by the king of Judah, or by some of his own disposal. (2.) By depriving them of their possessions and people, does not appear; but, it seems, so long he was kept out estates, real and personal, and exposing them to all the hardof the throne he aimed at. Justly were his bad practices thus ships and reproaches of a removal to a strange country, under chastised, and the word of the prophet was thus fulfilled, (Hos. the power of an imperious army, he chastised them for their 10. 3,) Now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared rebellion, and their endeavour to shake off his yoke. (3.) Thus not the Lord.
he effectually prevented all such attempts for the future, and II. That though he was bad, yet not so bad as the kings of secured their own country to himself. (4.) Thus he got the Israel that had been before him, (v. ?,) not so devoted to the benefit of their service in his own country, as Pharaoh did that calves as they had been. One of them, (that at Dan,) the of their fathers; and so this unworthy people were lost, as they Jews say, had been, before this, carried away by the king of As were found, and ended, as they began, in servitude, and under syria in that expedition, ch. 15.29, to which, perhaps, the prophet oppression. (5.) Thus he made room for those of his own refers; (Hos. 8. 5,) Thy calf, O Samaria, has cast thee off; country, that had little, and little to do, at home, to settle in a which made him put the less confidence in the other. And good land, a land flowing with milk and honey. All these seve some say that this Hoshea took off the embargo which the ral ways, he served himself by this captivity of the ten tribes. former kings had put their subjects under, forbidding them to We are here told in what places of his kingdom he disposed of go up to Jerusalem to worship, which he permitted those to do, them ; in Halah and Habor, in places, we may suppose, far that had a mind to it. But what shall we think of this dispen- distant from each other, lest they should keep up a correspondsation of providence, that the destruction of the kingdom of ence, incorporate again, and become formidable. There, we Israel should come in the reign of one of the best of its kings ? have reason to think, after some time, they were so mingled Thy judgments, O God, are a great deep. God would hereby with the nations, that they were lost, and the name of Israel show that in bringing this ruin upon them, he designed to punish, was no more in' remembrance. They that forgot God, were 1. Not only the sins of that generation, but of the foregoing themselves forgotten ; they that studied to be like the nations, ages, and to reckon for the iniquities of their fathers, who had were buried among them; and they that would not serve God been long in filling the measure, and treasuring up wrath against in their own land, were made to serve their enemies in a strange this day of wrath. 2. Not only the sins of their kings, but the land. It is probable that they were the men of honour and sins of the people. If Hoshea was not so bad as the former estates, who were carried captive, and that many of the meaner kings, yet the people were as bad as those that went before sort of people were left behind, many of every tribe, who either them, and it was an aggravation of their badness, and brought went over to Judah, or became subject to the Assyrian colonies, ruin the sooner, that their king did not set them so bad an and their posterity were Galileans or Samaritans. But thus example as the former kings had done, nor hinder them from ended Israel as a nation ; now they became Lo-ammi, not a reforming; he gave them leave to do better, but they did as bad people; and Lo-ruhamah, unpitied. Now Canaan spewed them as ever, which laid the blame of their sin and ruin wholly upon When we read their entry under Hoshea the son of Nus, themselves.
who would have thought that such as this should have been III. That the destruction came gradually. They were for their exit under Hoshea the son of Elah? Thus Rome's glory some time made tributaries, before they were made captives, in Augustus, sunk many ages after, in Augustulus. Providence to the king of Assyria, (v, 3,) and if that lesser judgment had so ordered the eclipsing of the honour of the ten tribes, that prevailed to humble and reform them, the greater had been the honour of Judah the royal tribe, and Levi the holy iribe, prevented.
which yet remained, might shine the brighter. Yet we find IV. That they brought it upon themselves by the indirect a number sealed of each of the 12 tribes, (Rev. 7.) cxcept Dan. course they look to shake off the yoke of the king of Assyria, I James writes to the 12 tribes scattered abroad, (Jam. 1. 1,) and
sinned against the Lord their God, which had keep my commandments and my statutes, according brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. feared other gods,
14 Notwithstanding, they would not hear, but 8 And walked in the statutes of the heathen, hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fawhom the Lord cast out from before the children thers, that did not believe in the Lord their God. of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had 15 And they rejected Phis statutes, and his covemade.
nant that he made with their fathers, and his tes9 And the children of Israel did secretly those timonies which he testified against them; and they things that were not right against the LORD their followed vanity, and became vain, and went after God, and they built them high places in all their the heathen that were round about them, concerncities, from the tower of the watchmen to the ing whom the Lord had charged "them, that they fenced city.
should not do like them. 10 And they set them up *images and grovest 16 And they left all the commandments of the in 'every high hill, and under every green tree : LORD their God, and made them molten "images,
11 And there they burnt incense in all the high even two calves, and made a grove, and worplaces, as did the heathen whom the Lord carried shipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.away before them; and wrought wicked things to 17 And they caused their sons and their daughprovoke the LORD to anger:
ters to pass through the fire, and used divination 12 For they served idols, whereof the LORD had and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
13 Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and 18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Isagainst Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the rael, and removed them out of his sight: There was seers, saying," Turn ye from your evil ways, and none left but dthe tribe of Judah only.
(Lev. 19. 3. Deut. 18. 9. c. 16. 3. Ps. 106. 35. & E2. 8. 12. Ac. 18. 8.
p Jer. 8. 9. Deut. 29, 25, 26. r Deut. 6. 17. 18. Jei. 44. 23. & Deut. 32. 21. 1 Sam. 12. 21, 1 Kings 16. 13. 1 Jon. 2.8. Rom. 1. 21. 14 Deut. 12. 30, 31, t Ex. 32, 4, 8. w 1 Kings 12. 28. II Kings 14.15, 23. 15. 13. y Jer. 8.2. zl Kings 16.31. 2. 53. Lev. 18. 21. c. 16. 3. Ez. 23. 37. • Deut. 18.10. cl Kinge 21. 20. d 1 Kings 11. 13, 32.
Paul speaks of the 12 tribes which instantly served God day he cast out the heathen from before them, (v. 8,) to make room for and night, Acts 26. 7. So that though we never read of the them; and the casting out of them for their idolatries, was as fair return of those that were carried captive, nor have any reason a warning as could be given to Israel not to do like them. to credit the conjecture of some, that they yet remain a distinct II. What they had done against God, notwithstanding these body in some remote corner of the world; yet a remnant of them engagements which he had laid upon them. did escape, to keep up the name of Israel, till it came to be 1. In general; they sinned against the Lord their God, (v. 7,) worn by ihe Gospel church, the spiritual Israel, in which it will they did those things that were not righi, (v. 9,) but secretly'; ever remain, Gal. 6. 16.
so wedded were they to their evil practices, that when they could V. 7-23. Though the destruction of the kingdom of the ten not do them publicly, could not, for shame, or could not, for fear, tribes was but briefly related, it is in these verses largely com- they would do them secretly: an instance of their atheism, that mented upon by our historian, and the reasons of it assigned, they thought what was done in secret, was from under the eye not taken from the second causes, the weakness of Israel, their of God himself, and would not be required. Again, they impolitic management, and the strength and growing greatness wrought wicked things in such a direct contradiction to the divine orine Assyrian monarch, these things are overlooked; but only law, that it seemed as if it were done on purpose to provoke the from the First Cause.
Lord to anger, (v. 11,) in contempt of his authority, and defiance 1. It was the Lord that removed Israel out of his sight; who- of his justice. They rejected God's statutes, and his covenant, ever were the instruments, he was the Author of this calamity. (v. 15;) would not be bound up either by his command, or the It was destruction from the Almighty; the Assyrian was but consent they themselves had given to the covenant, but threw the rod of his anger, Is. 10. 5. It was the Lord that rejected off the obligations of both, and therefore God justly rejected the seed of Israel, else their enemies could not have seized upon them, v. 20. See Hos. 4.6. They left all the commandments of them, ». 20. Who gave Jacob to the spuil, and Israel to the robo the Lord their God,(v.16,) left the way, left the work, which those bers? Did not the Lord? Is. 42. 24. We lose the benefit of commandments prescribed them, and directed them in; nay, national judgments, if we do not eye the hand of God in them, lastly, they sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, and the fulfilling of the scripture ; for that also is taken notice of that is, they wholly addicted themselves to sin, as slaves to the here ; (v. 23,) The Lord removed Istacl out of his favour, and service of those to whom they are sold, and, by their obstinate out of their own land, as he had said by all his servants the pro- persisting in sin, so hardened their own hearts, that, at length, it phets. Rather shall heaven and carth pass, than one tittle of was become morally impossible for them to recover themselves, God's word fall to the ground, When God's word and his works as one that has sold himself has put his liberty past recall. are compared, it will be found not only that they agree, but that 2. In particular; though they were guilty (no doubt) of many they illustrate each other. But why would God ruin a people | immoralities, and violated all the commands of the second table, that were raised and incorporated, as Israel was, by miracles yet nothing is here specified, but their idolatry ; that was the and oracles? Why would he undo that which himself had done, sin that did most easily beset them, that was, of all others, most at so vast an expense? Was it purely an act of sovereignty?provoking to God, it was the spiritual adultery that broke the No, it was an act of necessary justice. For,
marriage covenant, and was the inlet of all other wickedness; 2. They provoked him to do this by their wickedness. Was it this is again and again mentioned here as the sin that ruined God's doing? Nay, it was their own; their way and their them. (1.) They feared other gods, (v. 7,) that is, worshipped doings procured all this to themselves, and it was their own wicked them, and paid their hoinage to them, as if they feared their ness that did correct them. This the sacred historian shows displeasure. (2.) They walked in the ste tutes of the heathen, here at large, that it might appear that God did them no wrong, which were contrary to God's statutes, (v.8;) did as did the and that others might hear and fear. Come, and see what it heathen, (v. 11;) went after the heathen that were round about was that did all this mischief, that brake their power, and laid them, (v.15;) so prostituting the honour of their peculiarity, and their honour in the dust; it was sin ; that, and nothing else, se- defeating God's design concerning them, which was, that they paraled between them and God; this is here very movingly laid should be distinguished from the heathen. Must they that open as the cause of all the desolations of Israel. He here shows, were taught of God, go to school to the heathen? They that
1. What God had done for Israel, to engage them to serve were appropriated to God, take their measures from the nations him. 1. He gave them their liberty ; (v. 7,) he brought them that were abandoned by him? (3.) They walked in the statutes from under the hand of Pharaoh who oppressed them, asserted of the idolatrous kings of Israel, (v.8,) in all the sins of Jeroboam, their freedom, (Israel is my son,) and effected their freedom
When their kings assumed a power to alter, and add to, with a high hand; thus they were bound in duty and gratitude to the divine institutions, they submitted to them, and thought the be his servants, for he had loosed their bonds : nor would he that command of their kings would bear them out, in disobedience to rescued them out of the hand of the king of Egypt, have contra- the command of their God. (4.) They built them high places dicted himself so far as to deliver them into the hand of the in all their cities, (v. 9,) if it were but the tower of the watchking of Assyria, as he did, if they had not by their iniquity, be- men, a country town, that had no walls, bul only a tower to trayed their liberty, and sold themselves. 2. He gave them shelter the waich in time of danger, or but a lodge for shepherds, their law, and was himself their king; they were immediately it must be honoured with a high place, and that with an altar; under a divine regimen; they could not plead ignorance of good if it were a fenced city, it must be further fortified with a high and evil, sin and duty, for God had particularly charged them place; having forsaken God's holy place, they knew no end of against those very things which here he charges them with, high places, in which every man followed his own fancy, and (v. 15,) That they should not do like the heathen. Nor could directed his devotion to what god he pleased : sacred things They be in any doubt concerning their obligation to observe this were hereby profaned and laid common, when their altars were charge, for they were the commandments and statutes of the as heaps in the furrows of the field, Hos. 12. 11. (5.) They sel Lord their God, (v. 13,) go that no room was left to dispute them up images and groves, Asherim, even wooden images, so whether they should keep them or no; he had not dealt so with some think that should be rendered, which we translate groves ; other nations, Ps. 147. 19, 20, 3. He gave them their land, for or Ashtaroth, so others, (v. 10,) directly contrary to the second
19 Also Judah kept not the commandments of placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manthe Lord their God, but walked in the statutes of ner of the God of the land : therefore he bath sent Israel which they made.
lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, be20 And the Lord rejected Sall the seed of Israel, cause they know not the manner of the God of the and afflicted them, and delivered them into the land. hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his 27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, sight.
Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought 21 For "he rent Israel from the house of David; from thence, and let them go and dwell there, and and they made Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, king: let him teach them the manner of the God of the land. and Jeroboam idrave Israel from following the LORD, 28 Then one of the priests, whom they had carand made them sin a great sin.
ried away from Samaria, came and dweli in Beth22 For the children of Israel walked in all the el, and laught them how they should fear the Lord. sins of Jeroboam which he did ; they departed not 29 Howbeit every nation made gods of their from them;
own, and put them in the houses of the high places 23 Until the Lord removed Israel out of his which the Samaritans had made, every nation in sight, as he had said *by all his servants the pro- their cities wherein they dwelt. phets. So 'was Israel carried away out of their 30 And the men of Babylon made Succothown land to Assyria unto this day.
benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the 24 And mthe king of Assyria brought men from men of Hamath made Ashima, Babylon," and from Cuthah, and from Ava,o and from 31 And 'the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in and the Sepharvites burnt 'their children in fire to the cities of Samaria, instead of the children of Is- Adrammelech and Anammelech the gods of Serael: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the pharvaim. cities thereof.
32 So they feared the LORD, and made unto 25 And so it was, at the beginning of their dwelling themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high there, that they feared not the LORD; therefore the places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of LORD sent plions among them, which slew some of the high places. them.
33 They feared the Lord, and served their own 26 Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, gods, after the manner of the nations 'whom they saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and carried away from thence.
« Jer. 3.8. f Jer. 6. 30. & c. 13. 3. 15. 29. Neh, 9. 27. 28. A 1 Kings 11. 11. 11 Kings 12. 20, 23. k 1 Kings 14. 16. I ver. 6. m Ezra 4.2, 10. n ver. 30. o c. 18. 34, Ivar.
p 1 Kinga 13. 26. Jer. 5. 6. Ex. 14. 21. 9 Mic. 4. 5.
Ver. 24. Earn . 9.
or, sko carried them
commandment. They served idols, (v. 12,) the works of their 11. Those that bring sin into a country or family, bring a own hands, and creatures of their own fancy, though God had plague into it, and will have to answer for all the mischief that warned them particularly not to do this thing. (6.) They burned follows. incense in all the high places, to the honour of strange gods, for V. 24–41. Never was land lost, (we say,) for want of an it was to the dishonour of the true God, v. 11. (7.) They follow- heir. When the children of Israel were dispossessed, and turned ed vanity; idols are called so, because they could do neither out of Canaan, the king of Assyria soon transplanted thither the good nor evil, but were the most insignificant things that could supernumeraries of his own country, such as it could well be; they that worshipped them, were like unto them, and so spare, who should be servants to him, and masters to the Israel they became vain and good for nothing, (u. 16;) vain in their ites that remained ; and here we have an account of these new devotions, which were brutish and ridiculous, and so became inhabitants, whose story is related here, that we may take our vain in their whole conversation. (8.) Beside the molten im- leave of Samaria, as also of the Israelites that were carried ages, even the two calves, they worshipped all the host of heaven, captive into Assyria. the sun, moon, and stars, for it is not meant of the heavenly 1. Concerning the Assyrians that were brought into the land host of angels, they could not rise so far above sensible things of Israel, we are here told, as to think of them; and withal, they served Baal, the deitied 1. That they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities heroes of the Gentiles, v. 16. (9.) They caused their children to thereof, v. 24. It is common for lands to change their owners, pass through the fire, in token of their dedicating of them to their but sad that the holy land should become a heathen land again; idols; and lastly, they used divinations and enchantments, that see what work sin makes. they might receive directions from the gods to whom they paid 2. That at their first coming God sent lions among them. their devotions.
They were probably insufficient to people the country, which III. What means God used with them, to bring them off from occasioned the beasts of the field to multiply against them, their idolatries, and to how little purpose ; he testified against (Ex. 23. 29 ;) yet, beside the natural cause, there was a manithem, showed them their sins, and warned them of the fatal con fest hand of God in it, who is Lord of hosts, of all the creatures, sequences of them by all the prophets, and all the seers, (for so and can serve his own purposes by which he pleases, small or the prophets had been formerly called,) and had pressed them great, lice or lions. God ordered them this rough welcome, lo to turn from their evil ways, v. 13. We have read of pro- check their pride and insolence, and to let them know that phets, more or less, in every reign; though they had forsaken though they had conquered Israel, the God of Israel had power God's family of priests, he did not leave them without a suc- enough to deal with them, that he could have prevented their cession of prophets, who made it their business to teach them settling here, by ordering lions into the sersice of Israel, and the good knowledge of the Lord, but all in vain, (v. 14;) they that he permitted it, not for their righteousness, but the wickwould not hear, but hardened their necks, persisted in their edness of his own people, and that they were now under his idolatries, and were like their fathers, that would not bow their visitation: they had lived without God in their own land, and necks to God's yoke, because they did not believe in him, did not were not plagued with lions; but if they do so in this land, it is receive his truths, nor would venture upon his promises : it at their peril. seems to refer to their fathers in the wilderness; the same sin 3. That they sent a remonstrance of this grievance to the that kept them out of Canaan, turned these out, and that was, king their master, setting forth, it is likely, the loss their infan! unbelief.
colony had sustained by the lions, and the continual fear they IV. How God punished them for their sins; he was very were in of them, that they looked upon it to be a judgment upon angry with them, (v. 18;) for, in the matter of his worship, he is then for not worshipping the God of the land, which they a jealous God, and resents nothing more deeply than giving that could not, because they knew pot how, v. 26. The God of honour to any creature, which is due to him only. He atlicted Israel was the God of the whole world, but they ignorantly call them, (v. 20,) and delivered them into the hands of spoilers, in him the God of the land, apprehending themselves therefore the days of the judges and of Saul, and afterward, in the days within his reach, and concerned to be upon good terms with of most of their kings, to see if they would be awakened by the him; herein they shamed the Israelites, who were not so ready judgments of God to consider and amend their ways; but when to hear the voice of God's judginents as they were, and who all these corrections did not prevail to drive out the folly, God had not served the God of that land, though he was the God of first rent Istnel from the house of David, under which they might their fathers, and their great Benefactor, and though they were have been happy. As Judah was hereby weakened, so Israel well instructed in the manner of his worship. Assyrians beg was hereby corrupted; for they made king a man who drove to be taught that which Israelites bated to be taught. them from following the Lord, and marle them sin a great sin, 4. That the king of Assyria took care to have them taught v. 21.
This was a national judgment, and the punishment of the manner of the God of the land, (v. 27, 28,) not out of any their former idolatries; and, at length, he removed them quite affection to that God, but to save his subjects from the lions. out of his sight, (v. 18, 23,) without giving them any hopes of a On this errand he sent back one of the priests whom he had return out of their captivity.
carried away captive: a prophel would have done them more Lastly, Here is a complaint against Judah in the midst of all; good, for this was but one of the priests of the calves, and (v. 19,) Also Judah kopi not the commandments of God; though therefore chose to dwell at Bethel for old acquaintance sake, they were not as yet quite so bad as Israel, yet ihey walked in and though he might teach them to do better than they did, he the statutes of Israel; and this aggravated the sin of Israel, that was not likely to teach them to do well, unless he had taught they communicated the infection of il to Judah ; sec Ez. 23. his own people better; however, he came and dwelt among