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RIVINGTONS : 34 King Street, Covent Garden, London. 














1 Kiiu 

Introduction, .... 

Map of Assyrian Empire, . 
Map of Palestine, .... 
Chronological Table, 

chapter sub, 

2 Chron. i. 1 ; 1 Kings iii. n ^,, 

iv. 20-34, . J'-^^ISDOM, 

I (I) Solomon BUILDING THE Temple, .\ 
' ^^•' • '1(2) Solomon's Temple, . J 

1 Kings vii. 1-22 ; 2 Chron. "^ ,,, ^ 

j^ . ^, 2 j Ihe Furniture of the Temple, 

2 Chron. v. 2-14 ; vi. ; vii. f{l) Public Worship, , . . \ 

1-11, . . .\('2) Prayer, . . . J 

1 Kings ix. 1-24; 2 Chron. ] 

viii. 12-16 ; 1 Kings ix. hTHE Queen of Sheba, . 

26-28; 1 Kings x., .J 

1 Kings xi. ; 2 Chron. ix. ^ ^ , ^ 

„Q -Solomon's Foolishness, 

1 Kings xii. 1-24 ; xiv. 21- ^ 

23; 2 Chron.' xii. 1-12, IRehoboam's Self- Will, 

15,16, . . .j 

1 Kings xii. 25-33; xiii. ;/ Disobedience (1) of the Wicked,) 





xiv. 1-20, 
2 Chron. xiii. ; xiv. ; xv 

xvi. , 
1 Kings XV. 25-34 ; xvi., 
1 Kings xvii., 
1 Kings xviii, , 
1 Kings xix., 
1 Kings XX., 
1 Kings xxi. ; xxii. 1-40, 

1 Kings xxii. 51-53 ; 
Kings i. , 

2 Kings ii. ; iii. , . 

,, (2) OF THE Good, 

Confidence, True and False, 

. The Results of Disobedience, 

. God's Providence, 

, Courage for God, 

. The Hidden Ways OF (ioD, 

. Victory, 

. Imperfect Repentance, 


Fire from Heaven, 

. The Ascension of Elijah, 

1 Kings xxii. 41-43; 2\ 
Chron. xvii. 2-19 ; xix. ; ' .Jehoshaphat a Type of Christ, 
XX. 1-28, 34-37, . J 













2 Kings iv. , 
2 Kings v., 
2 Kings vi. ; vii. 


. Elisha a Type of Christ, 
. Naaman — THE Leper cleansed, 
viii. Ul) Faith AND Unbelief, 
• 1(2) Angel-Guardians, 

2 Kings viii. 7-15 ; 

Chron. xxi. ; xxii. 6 

Kings ix., 
2 Kings X., . . Jehu, 

2Chron. xxii. 10-12; xxiii.;^ Toash 

2 I Elisha, Hazael, and Jehu 


2 Kings xiii., 


(1) The Death of Elisha, 
Elisha in Death a 
Christ, . 
UzziAH, . 

Type of 

> Ahaz and Isaiah, 

2 Chron. xxv., 

2 Chron. xxvi., 

2 Kings xiv. 23-29 ; xv. 8- 

31 ; 2 Chron. xxvii. ; 2 

Kings xvi. 1-5 ; 2 Chron. 

XX viii. 8-15 ; 2 Kings 

xvi. 6-20; Isa. vii. 1-14,^ 
^ „. .. f{l) The Captivity of Israel, . "i 

2Kmgsxvn., . • |, 2) The Samaritans, . . J 

2 Kings xviii. 1-8 ; 2 Chron. \ 

xxix. 3-36 ; XXX. 1-27 ; tHezekiah the Restorer of Religion, 

xxxi. ], . . . ^ 

2 Kings xviii. 13-37, . The Great Attack on Jerusalem, . 

2Kingsxix., . . The Great Deliverance, 

2 Kings XX. , . . God's Lessons to Hezekiah 










2 Kings xxi. 1-16 ; 2 Chron. 


xxxiii. 11-25, . . j 
2 Kings xxii. ; xxiii. 1-28 ;\ , 

^ ^f r.r. r.., JOSIAH, . 

2 Chron. xxxv. 20-27, . f ' 

2 Chron. xxxvi. 1-21, . The Captivity, 

2 Kings xxv. 27-30; 2) 

Chron. xxxvi. 22, 23, J ^"^^' ' 

Index, . . . . . . 








The same general principles have been followed in the notes 
and lessons in this volume as in the previous one, which ended 
with the accession of Solomon. The reader is referred to the 
Introduction of that volume for a summary of the sources of 
the history, and of the main ideas which should be our guide 
in teaching it. 

In this volume the Books of Chronicles have largely been 
made use of. In many cases they add incidents and details 
which are not found in the Books of the Kings, while in some 
cases their narrative is simpler and more concise, and so better 
fitted for the comprehension of children. 

A special interest is given to the history of Israel from the 
8th century B.C. onward by the writing prophets, whose books 
are included in the canon of Scripture. It is quite impossible 
to study intelligently the Books of Kings and Chronicles 
without the light which is shed upon them by the prophetical 
books. They give us a vivid picture of contemporary society, 
thought, religion. Hosea and Amos illustrate the decline of the 
northern kingdom; Micah and Isaiah, the southern kingdom 
under Ahaz and Hezekiah ; Zephaniah, the age of Josiah ; 
Nahum and Habakkuk, the fall of Assyria and the advance 
of the Babylonians ; Jeremiah, and probably Obadiah, the 
closing days of the southern kingdom ; Ezekiel and Daniel, the 
Captivity; Isaiah (xl.-lxvi., whether these chapters are the 
work of the historic Isaiah or not), the later years of the same 
period, and the bright hopes of the Return. Attention has 


been drawn in the notes to passages in these prophets which 
are of special importance, but the teacher would do well also 
to consult such a book as Kirkpatrick's Doctrine of the Prophets 
for fuller treatment. Other books which will be found most 
useful are Stanley's Sinai and Palestine^ and Dr. G. Adam 
Smith's Historical Geography of Palestine. The volumes in the 
Cambridge Bible covering this period will also be found of great 
assistance, as well as the series, 'Men of the Bible.' Both the 
Oxford Helps to the Study of the Bible and the Cambridge 
Companion to the Bible ought to Ijc in the possession of every 
teacher. The late Dr. Liddon's volume of Sermons on the Old 
Testament has been frequently referred to, and will be found 
most suggestive. 

The writer has endeavoured not to ignore the results of 
modern criticism. It would be idle to attempt to deny, or 
indeed to be ungrateful for, the enormous help that modern 
scholarship and archa3ology have given to the understanding of 
Hebrew history, and the circumstances under which the Old 
Testament writings grew up. At the same time, the ideas 
which are usually associated with the phrase ' higher criticism ' 
have not been made particularly prominent in this volume or 
the previous one. In this connection the writer can only state 
his own firm conviction (1) that an entirely disproportionate 
weight is at present being attached in many quarters to these 
opinions and so-called 'results,' with the effect that men's 
thoughts are being distracted from the 'weightier matters' of 
the Bible, the eternal truths which underlie the letter of 
Scripture, and from a reverent and devotional study of them ; 
and (2) that the Old Testament, by whatever processes it may 
have come together, is, in the form that we now possess it, 
that Word of God which is sanctioned ])y our Blessed Lord 
Himself, and by the unanimous witness of the Catholic Church. 

The extracts from the Revised Version contained in this volume are 
printed by permiss^ion of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. 



This Table is approximate only. Considerable doubt exists as 
to the dates of the reigns of the undivided kingdom, and there 
is also uncertainty with regard to some later periods, especially 
the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Pekah. A full dis- 
cussion of the problem of chronology will be found in Hastings' 
Dictionary of the Bible. 

B.C. B.C. 


1073 or 1095 

David . 

1033 ,, 1055 


993 ,, 1015 



. Jeroboam i. 

Abijali . 





. Nadab 




. Elah 


. Zimri 



. Omri 



. Ahab 

Jehoshaphat . 






. Jehoram 

Joram . 







. Jehu . 

Joash . . . 



. Jehoahaz 




. Jehoasli 




. Jeroboam ii. 

Uzziali . 



. Zachariah 


. iShallum 


. Menahem 

Jotham . 



. Pekahiah 


. Pekah 




. Hosliea 




. End of northern 



Amon . 


Josiah . 










Fall of Jerusalem 




IlEB. MON. : VOL. 11. 

2 CHRON. I. 1 : 1 KINGS III. : IV. 20-34 

2 CHRON. I. 1 ; 1 KINGS III. ; IV. 20-34 

A ND Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his 

r\ kingdom, and tlie Lord his God ivas with him, and 

magnified him exceedingly. 

1 KINGS III. 1. And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh 

king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought 

NOTE. — Marginal readings not in italics are from the Revised Version. 

2 Chron. i. 1. The happy beginnings of the reign of Solomon are 
described in 1 Chron. xxviii.-xxix. and 1 Kings i.-ii. (see The Hebrew 
Monarchy, vol. i. , Lessons xxix. and xxx. ). He was crowned king before 
his father's death, as was often done in ancient times, when the succes- 
sion to the throne was not guarded by constitution or by long pre- 
cedent. His unworthy rival Adonijah, and conspirators like Joab and 
Shimei, had been put to death. He had received the counsel and bless- 
ings of David, and had been welcomed by the popular voice. He com- 
menced his reign with God's special benediction. The throne of Israel 
was pre-eminently founded on religion. Prophecy had foretold its con- 
tinuance (2 Sam. vii. ) and its prosperity so long as the king was faithful 
to God. Solomon was ' strengthened in his kingdom ' because ' the Lord 
was with him ' ; and his early acts show his devout sense of this. 

1 Kings iii. L And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt. 
If Solomon's reign began in 1015 B.C., the Pharaoh with whom he thus 
allied himself would be either the last, Psusennes ii. , of the twenty-first 
dynasty, or the last but one, Psinaces. The twenty-second dynasty 
began with Shishak (more properly Sheshonk), who received Jeroboam 
and humiliated Rehoboam (1 Kings xi. 40, and xiv. 25, 26). 

This marriage with Pharaoh's daughter is a very remarkable event. 
It seems at first sight like the beginning of Solomon's worldliness, which 
ended in idolatry and the loss of God's grace. Such marriages were for- 
bidden by Moses (Deut. vii. 3), and alliances with Egypt are warned 
against frequently by the prophets (see Isa. xxx. ; Hos. vii. 11, etc.). 
But this particular marriage is mentioned without any reproof ; and no 
Egyptian idolatry seems to have been introduced by it. We must there- 
fore conclude that this P^gyptian princess was converted to the faith of 
Israel ; and that tlie marriage was divinely sanctioned as a type of the 
future conversion of the kingdoms of the world, and their inclusion in 
the better Israel, the Catholic Church, Psalm xlv., which is often 
referred to this marriage of Solomon, strikingly illustrates this view. 
The bride, the king's daughter, is exhorted to forget her own people and 
her father's house ; and it is promised her, ' Instead of thy fathers thou 
shalt have children, whom thou mayest make princes over all the earth.' 
And this psalm, in its most inward and truest interpretation, describes 
prophetically 'the marriage-supper of the Laml)'— the union of Christ 


her into the city of David, until he had made an end of 
building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and 
the wall of Jerusalem round about. 2. Only the people 
sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built 
unto the name of the Lord, until those days. 3. And 
Solomon " loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David " Deut. vi. 5 ; 

' =" XXX. IG, L'O. 

his father : only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high 

places. 4. And the king went to ^ Gribeon to sacrifice h 2 Chron. i. 3. 

there; '"for that was the great high place: a thousand c 1 Chron. xvi. 

burnt oflerings did Solomon ofi'er upon that altar. 5. In 

Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by 

Himself, Whose 'throne is for ever and ever,' with redeemed humanity, 
the Bride, ' the new Jerusalem.' 

For the promise of the inclusion of Egypt within the future kingdom 
of God see Ps. Ixxxvii. 4 (Rahab — Egypt), and Isa. xix. 18-25. 

1. The city of David. See 2 Sam. v. 7, 9 ; 2 Chron. viii. 11. By ' the city 
of David' is evidently meant Mount Moriah, the eastern part of the high 
ground within the city walls. The Temple was built here ; and Solo- 
mon's house was formerly supposed to have been on the higher or western 
hill, which is separated from Mount Moriali by the valley of Tyropoeon. 
This western hill was called ' Mount Zion ' in later times, but apparently 
not before the fifth century a.d. (see 'Jerusalem' in Smith's Dictionary 
of the Bible). Scholars incline now to believe that both Solomon's 
Temple and Solomon's house were built on the same hill, and were closely 
connected (see supplementary note, p. 31). 

2. Only the people sacrificed in high places. In the earliest legislation 
of Moses sacrifice is permitted at any place where God has revealed Him- 
self (Exod. XX. 24). This was in accordance with the practice of the 
patriarchs. But in Deut. xii. 13, 14, this was shown to be only a tem- 
porary concession. One place, and one only, would be revealed by God 
for sacrificial worship. This one place was not revealed, however, until 
the reign of David (1 Chron. xxii.). Till then the earlier custom was 
tolerated ; and long afterwards, although denounced by the prophets 
as a national sin, the ' high places ' retained their fascination in the 
popular religion. These ' high places ' or ' Bamoth ' may, in many cases, 
have been regarded as sacred places by the Canaanites before the 
entrance of Israel into Canaan. But whether Canaanite in origin or not, 
they were recognised, definite places, whose supposed sanctity rested 
upon either some local superstition, or some real appearance of an angel, 
or of the Divine presence. 

4. Gibeon — the city of the deceitful Hivites (Josh. ix.). The special 
sanctity of this place lay in its being the resting-place of the Tabernacle 
(2 Chron. i. 3-6). 

5. The LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream. There can be no reason- 
able doubt, from Holy Scripture, that God does sometimes employ the 

4 2 CHRON. I. 1 ; 1 KINGS III. ; IV. 20-34 

night : and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. 6. And 
Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David 

i kindness. my father great ^ mercy, according as he walked before thee 
in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart 
with thee ; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, 
that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is 
this day. 7. And now, Lord my God, thou hast made 
thy servant king instead of David my father : and I am 

d Jer. i. 6. hut a little '' child : I know not liow ^ to go out or come in. 

e Num. xxvii. 

17. 8. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which 

/ Deut. vii. 6. -^thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered 
g Wisd. ix. 4, 5. nor counted for multitude. 9. ^ Give therefore thy servant 
an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may 
discern between good and bad : for who is able to judge 
this thy so great a people ? 10. And the speech pleased 
the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11. And 
God said unto him. Because thou hast asked this thing, 
and hast not asked for thyself long life ; neither hast 
asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine 
enemies ; but hast asked for thyself understanding to dis- 
cern judgment ; 12. Behold, I have done according to thy 
words : lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding 
h Eccies. i. 16. heart ; so that there was none like thee before thee, '* neitlier 

time of sleep for direct revelations of Himself to men. Although this 
was a dream which Solomon saw, (^od really 'appeared' to him. So 
several revelations were made to S. Joseph by dreams (S. Matt. i. and ii.) ; 
and the prophetic promise concerning the New Covenant is, ' Your young 
men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream di^eams' (Acts 
ii. 17). 

7. I am but a little child. Solomon would be at this time a very young 
man, between eighteen and twenty-one. 

I know not how to go out or come in. A common scriptural phrase, 
implying ordinary intercourse and the fulfilment of ordinary duties (see 
Deut. xxxi. 2; 1 Sam. xviii. 16; Acts i. 21). In the case of a king it 
might have special reference to his duties of leading and guiding his 
people, as a shepherd ; and particularly to the duty of being their captain 
in time of war. 

9. An understanding heart. Heb. ' a hearing heart,' i.e. a heart open 
to the inspiration and guidance of God. This is a frequent metaphor in 
the Old Testament. Cf. Ps. xl. 6, ' Mine ears hast thou opened ' ; and 
Isa. 1. 5. 


after thee shall any arise like unto thee. 13. And I have 
also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, 
and honour : so that there shall not be any among the 
kings like unto thee all thy days. 14. And if thou wilt 
walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my command- 
ments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen 
thy days. 15. And Solomon awoke ; and, behold, it was 
a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the 
ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt 
offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to 
all his servants. 16. Then came there two women, that 
were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him. 17. And 
the one woman said, my lord, I and this woman dwell in 
one house ; and I was delivered of a child with her in the 
house. 18. And it came to pass the third day after that 
I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also : and 
we xvere together ; there teas no stranger with us in the 
house, save w^e two in the house. 19. And this woman's 
child died in the night ; because she overlaid it. 20. And 
she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, 
while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and 
laid her dead child in my bosom. 21, And Avhen I rose in 
the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead : 
but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it 
was not my son, which I did bear. 22. And the other 
woman said. Nay ; but the living is my son, and the dead 
is thy son. And this said. No ; but the dead is thy son, 
and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the 
king. 23. Then said the king. The one saith, This is my 
son that liveth, and thy son is the dead : and the other 

14. As thy father David did walk. This refers to the general tenor 
of David's life, not to the isolated acts of sin into which he fell, for which 
lie bitterly repented and endured punishment. See note on 2 Sam. xii. 
13 in I'he Hebrew Monarchy, vol. i. p. 210. 

15. The ark of the covenant of the LORD. Although the Tabernacle 
remained at Gibeon, David had brought the Ark to Jerusalem, and placed 
it in a temporary tent, as recorded in 2 Sam. vi. 

6 2 CHEON. I. 1 ; 1 KINGS III. ; IV. 20-34 

saitli, Niiy ; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the 
living. 24, And the king said, Bring me a sword. And 
they brought a sword before the king. 25. And the king 
said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the 
one, and half to the other. 26. Then spake the woman 
whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels 
yearned upon her son, and she said, my lord, give her 
the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other 
said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, hut divide it. 27. 
Then the king answered and said, Give her the living 
child, and in no wise slay it : she is the mother thereof. 
28. And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king 
had judged ; and they feared the king : for they saw that 
the wisdom of God ^vas in him, to do judgment. 

i Gen. xxii. 17. IV. 20. Judah and Israel were many, as ' the sand which 
is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and 
making merry. 21. And Solomon reigned over all king- 

j Gen. XV. IS. doms •? from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and 
unto the border of Egypt : they brought presents, and 
served Solomon all the days of his life. 22. And Solo- 
mon's provision for one day was thirty measures of fine 

26. Her bowels yearned. In tlie language of the Bible 'bowels' is 
exactly equivalent to our common use ot 'heart,' to express the seat of 
the emotions. In this case the phrase denotes the natural impulses of a 
mother's love, which Solomon's wisdom knew could not be dissembled. 
True wisdom follows the lead of nature. 

IV. 21. And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms, etc. The empire of 
Solomon marks the widest extent of political power that Israel ever 
attained. It was the exact fulfilment of the promise to Abraham (see 
marginal reference). In addition to the land occupied by the twelve 
tribes, Solomon was recognised as overlord by the kingdoms stretching 
eastwards as far as the Euphrates ('the river'), and southward to the 
'border of Egypt,' i.e. the frontier-brook, Wady el Arish, elsewhere 
called ' tlie river of Egypt,' Among these subject kingdoms which 
})rought Solomon presents would be: on the south, the Edomites, the 
Amalekites, and other wandering Arabian tribes ; on the east, the 
Moabites and Ammonite?!, the Hagarenes, the inhabitants of Kedar, 
the kingdom of Zobah, and the Syrians of Damascus (cf. '2 Sam. viii.) ; on 
the M^est, the Philistines also were subject to Solomon. 

22. And Solomon's provision for one day. The 'measure' or 'cor,' 


flour, and threescore measures of uieal, 23. Ten fat oxen, 

and twenty oxen out of the j)astures, and an hundred 

sheep, beside harts, and ^ roebucks, and fallow deer, and ^ gazelles and 

fatted fowl. 24. For he had dominion over all the region 

on this side the river, from Tiphsah even to ^Azzah, over all s Gaza. 

the kings on this side the river : and he had peace on all 

sides round about him. 25. And Judah and Israel dwelt 

safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, 

from Dan even to Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon. 

26. And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for 

his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. 27. And 

those officers provided victual for king Solomon, and for 

all that came unto king Solomon's table, every man in his 

month : •* they lacked nothing. 28. Barley also and straw •* they let 

for the horses and ^ dromedaries brought they unto the lacking. 

, 1 .1 ^ ^- , ■,- ^ swift steeds. 

place where the ojjicers were, every man accoramg to his 

according to Josephus, contained eighty-seven gallons. It was the same 
measure as the 'homer' (distinguish from the 'omer,' which was only 
the hundredth part of the 'homer'). It is very difficult, of course, to 
estimate the number of persons who formed Solomon's court ; one calcu- 
lation is 15,000. 

24. Tiphsah, i.e. Thapsacus on the Euphrates; 'Azzah' is the Philis- 
tine Gaza. 

25. Every man under his vine and under his fig tree. This is a pro- 
verbial sayiug, implying undisturbed prosperity. The vine and the fig- 
tree were the two most valuable natural productions of Palestine. See 
Micah iv. 4 ; Isa. xxxvi. 16 ; also Zech. iii. 10, for the promise of renewed 
prosperity after the exile. 

26. Forty thousand. 2 Chron. ix. 25 gives the number as four thousand, 
which seems more likely. One of the most frequent discrepancies in the 
Bible is found in the use of numbers. Numbers were denoted by letters, 
and the distinguishing marks were often very slight and easily mistaken 
by copjdsts. 

The horses and cavalry of Solomon mark a new departure in the 
Hebrew monarchy : an approximation to the state and grandeur of the 
older kingdoms, especially to Egypt. The Law of Moses had specially 
warned against this (Deut. xvii. 16). Cf. the confession of penitent 
Israel (Hosea xiv. 3). 

27. Those oflBcers. These had been specified in verses 7-19. 

28. The place where the officers were. 'The officers' is not in the 
Hebrew. The expression means either 'the place where it was required,' 
or ' the place where the king was' (R.V. margin). 

2 CHEON. I. 1 ; 1 KINGS III. ; IV. 20-34 

charge. 29. And God gave Solomon wisdom and under- 
standing exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as 
the sand that is on the sea shore. 30. And Solomon's 
wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east 
country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31. For he was 
wiser than all men ; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, 
and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol : and his fame 
was in all nations round about. 32. And he spake three 
thousand proverbs : and his songs were a thousand and 

29. Largeness of heart. This remarkable expression implies width of 
knowledge and sympathy ; the power of understanding not one subject, 
but many ; a mind unfettered by the limitations of ordinary men — ignor- 
ance, prejudice, inability to see both sides of a question. The com- 
parison to 'the sand that is on the sea shore' is very suggestive. The 
ordinary mind felt itself baffled by the extent and comprehensiveness 
of Solomon's wisdom. 

30. All the children of the east country. A general expression for the 
inhabitants of Arabia and Ciialda3a. This district was the traditional 
home of 'wisdom.' Balaam was one of these 'wise men'; to the same 
class belonged the Magi of a later date, who perhaps were influenced by 
Balaam's prophecy of the Star. The book of Job is an instance of the 
wisdom of the East, See Job i. 3 ; ii. 11 ; and Jer. xlix. 7. 

The wisdom of Egypt. The antiquity and wealth of Egyptian civilisa- 
tion, the proficiency of Egyptians in the arts and sciences, are still the 
wonder of the world. It is not surprising, therefore, to notice the awe 
and fascination which Egypt evidently exercised upon the younger 
nations throughout the Old Testament histor}^ (cf. Acts vii. 22). See 
a sermon on this subject by Dr. Liddon in the volume of Old Testament 

31. Ethan the Ezrahite, etc. After the classes of wise men, mentioned 
above, some typical examples are given, no doubt well known in the 
writer's time, but to which we have lost the historical clue. Ethan and 
Heman were the names of two of David's singers (1 Chron. xv. 19). In 
1 Chron. ii. 6 Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara appear as members of one 
family ; but the identification is doubtful. 

32. Three thousand proverbs. Some of these, no doubt, have been pre- 
served in the l)0()k of Proverbs, Hezekiah seems to have made an effort 
to collect Solomon's proverl)s. See Prov. xxv. 1. But the majority of 
these three thousand have perished. Tlie word ' proverb ' was used 
widely to describe not only a maxim, but any wise parable. 

His songs. Possibly some of these may be included in the Psalter, e.g. 
i., Ixxii., and cxxvii. (see titles to the two latter). The Song of Solomon 
may also be one of these ' songs,' But the rest cannot be traced. 


five. 33. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that 
is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of 
the wall : he sf)ake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of 
creeping things, and of fishes. 34, And there came of all 
^people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of ^ peoples. 
the earth, which had heard of his wisdom. 

33. And lie spake of trees, etc. It is impossible to say of what nature 
these writings of Solomon were. Perhaps the book on trees may have 
dealt with the medicinal properties of plants. And in the poetical 
descriptions of the war-horse, behemoth (hippopotamus ?) and leviathan 
(crocodile?), in Job xxxix.-xli., we may have examples of the way in 
which Solomon would speak of 'beasts,' etc. 

The cedar of Lebanon was the finest tree known to the inhabitants 
of Palestine. The ' hyssop ' is of uncertain identification. It was 
probably either the marjoram or the caper-plant. In contrast with the 
cedar, it is named here as the humblest of plants. So the ancient 
Church, seeing in this contrast a type of the Incarnation, sang on the 
Feast of the Purification : — 

' Now conforms the cedar tall 
To the hyssop of the wall. 

the cedar representing the Divine nature of Christ and the hyssop 
human nature. 


Solomon's Choice of Wisdom 

Introduction. — Material will probably be found in this scheme (and 
in some of the subsequent schemes) for more than one lesson. This 
is left to the discretion of the teacher, who must be guided by the age 
and previous knowledge of the children. These schemes for lessons are 
meant to be suggestive merely, and not to be used verbatim. 

Matter. Method. 

1. What wisdom is. 1. Describe and question on God's 

Solomon's prayer, and God's ofi"er, Solomon's prayer, and God's 
answer to it, show us what in answer 
God's eyes is the most important 
possession in life. ' Wisdom,' how- 
ever, does not mean mere intel- Explain that ' wisdom ' does not- 
lectual ability. It implies (a) the „^can merely cleverness; illustrate 
knowledge of God, of His will and . ^,g^_ g . rpj^^^ j jig^.ern be- 

purpose ; (o) the gift which God ^•' , , ^ , , *' 

gives to those who love Him, the ^^'^^^ S^^^ ^'''^ ^^^^- 
gift of being able to discern His 
will, and to have themselves the will 
and the power to obey it. Cf. Jer. Show that Solomon asked for 


2 CHRON. I. 1 ; 1 KINGS III. ; IV. 20-34 

Lesson I — continued. Wisdom 


ix. 23, 24. This wisdom is founded 
on 'the fear of the Lord' (Ps. cxi. 
10), i.e. the reverent attitude of 
the creature towards the Creator, 
recognising the absolute sovereignty 
and the perfect wisdom of God, and 
subordinating oneself to these. 

To such a temper God gives a 
share in His own attribute of 

The ' fool ' in Scripture is the man 
who refuses to discern or recognise 
God (Ps. xiv. 1), and therefore is 
unteachable (Prov. xxvii. 22). 

2. The source of wisdom. 

Solomon as the typical wise man 
of the Old Testameut is a type of 
Christ, who is Himself the ' Wisdom' 
of God (Prov. viii. 22, 30), and the 
Counsellor (Isa. ix. 6). In His in- 
carnate life Christ received the ful- 
ness of the Holy Spirit's gift of 
wisdom (see Isa. xi. ; cf. S. Luke 
ii. 52 and S. Mark vi. 2). 

Christians receive ' the Spirit of 
Christ,' especially in Confirmation. 
The wisdom of Christ Himself is 
given to them, which by prayer and 
effort they may learn to use. Cf. 
1 S. John ii. 20 and 27, and note 
that 'unction' and 'anointing' are 
ancient names for Confirmation, just 
as ' illumination ' was for Baptism. 

3. The fruits of wisdom. 

Some of the fruits of true wisdom 
may be studied in the life of 

(1) Human sympathy, which is 
the foundation of knowledge of 
human nature, is seen in his judg- 
ment between the two women. 

(2) Sympathy with all the works 
of God is seen in the love with 
which Solomon studied the life of 
animals and plants. Cf. our Lord's 

wisdom in order that he might per- 
form the duty which God had laid 
upon him. Refer to the question 
in the Catechism beginning, ' My 
good child, know this,' and illus- 
trate by Solomon's hitmility, which 
is the only gate to wisdom. 

2. Ask who was the Avisest man, 
wiser even than Solomon. Illus- 
trate the wisdom of Jesus Christ 
by His teaching the doctors in the 
Temple. Show that this wisdom 
was His Father's gift, because in all 
things He pleased His Father, did 
His Father's M'ill. 

Ask how we may receive a share 
in Christ's wisdom. Do not be con- 
tent with the answer, 'By prayer,' 
but draw attention to the gift of 
the Holy Spirit, to the promises 
connected with His coming at 

Show that the Holy Spirit comes 
to us all, especially in Confirmation. 
With older children refer to the 
seven gifts and to the Confirmation 

3. Question on these examples 
of Solomon's wisdom. Illustrate 
practically, as may be most suitable 
to the children ; especially draw out 
the duty of kindness to animals, 
of noticing and loving the works of 
God in nature. 



Lesson I — continued. Wisdom 


words about the lilies of the field 
and the sparrows. 

(3) The love of God, the highest 
fruit of true wisdom, is seen in 
his building of the Temple and his 
prayer at its dedication. 

It should also be noted that true 
wisdom, i.e. wisdom in its religious 
and moral aspects, is the real key to 
intellectual progress. That is why 
character really makes the student 
and the teacher. 


Blackboard Sketch, 

Solomon's Choice. 

1. Solomon chose visdom. 

Wisdom is the power to know and to do what 
is right in God's sight, • 

2. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the giver of wisdom 

to Christians — 

By His Holy Spirit. 
Through prayer. 



3. Wisdom will make us — 

(1) Loving to God. 

(a) In His works. 
(6) In His Church. 

(2) Kind to all men. 
Kind to animals. 

12 1 KINGS V. ; VI. 

1 KINGS y. ; VI. 

a 2 Chron. ii. 3. \^T> « Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto 
Solomon ; for he had heard that they had anointed 
him king in tlie room of his father : for Hiram was 
ever a lover of David. 2. And Solomon sent to Hiram, 
saying, 3. Thou knowest how that David my father could 
not build an house unto the name of the Lord his God for 
the wars which were about him on every side, until the 
Lord put them under the soles of his feet. 4. But now 
the Lord my God hath given me rest on every side, so 
that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent. 5. And, 
behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the 

b -2 Sam. vii. LoRD my God, as the Lord ^ spake unto David my father, 
saying. Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy 
room, he shall build an house unto my name. 6. Now 
therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out 
of Lebanon ; and my servants shall be with thy servants : 

V. 1. Hiram king of Tyre. This king may have been either the Hiram 
who helped David in his preparations for the Temple, or his son. The 
former view is more in accordance with the last words of the verse : the 
latter seems borne out by 2 Chron. ii. 13, though that verse is capable of 
another explanation, ' father ' being possibly a title of respect applied to 
Hiram the artificer, not to Hiram the king (cf. also 2 Chron. iv. 16). 

Sent Ms servants, i.e. with congratulatory messages, as is still the 
custom among royal personages. 

3. The LORD put them under the soles of his feet. An Oriental phrase 
descriptive of total su])jection. It is not merely metaphorical, as cap- 
tives or conquered enemies were actually subjected to this sort of humilia- 
tion. Cf. the similar expression, 'making one's enemies one's footstool' 
(Ps. ex. 1), putting one's foot * on the neck ' of one's enemies. 

4. Evil occurrent. 'Occurrent' is a noun (Lat. ocnirsus), lit. 'that 
which runs in oue's way ' ; hence our modern word, in rather a softened 
meaning, 'occurrence.' 

5. Unto the name of the LORD my God. The ' Name ' of God is all that 
God has revealed of Himself to man (see The Hehreiv Monarchy, vol. i. 
p. 60). Therefore, to build a Temple unto the Name of the Lord implies 
the purpose of commemorating, honouring, worshipping, and entering 
into communion with God, in as far as by revelation He has made it 
possible for man so to do. 


and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according 

to all that thou shalt appoint : for thou knowest that there 

is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto 

the Sidonians. 7. And it came to pass, when Hiram heard 

the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, 

Blessed he the Lord this day, which hath given unto 

David a wise son over this great people. 8. And Hiram 

sent to Solomon, saying, I have ^ considered the things i heard the 

which thou sentest to me for : and I will do all thy " ° ' 

desire concerning timber of cedar and concerning timber 

of fir. 9. My servants shall bring them down from 

Lebanon unto the sea : and I will ^ convey them by sea 2 make them 

in floats unto the place that thou shalt appoint me, by sea! ^ *^ °° 

and will cause them to be ^ discharged there, and thou ■'• broken up. 

shalt receive them : and thou shalt accomplish my desire, 

in '' giving food for my household. 10. So Hiram gave c Ezra iii. 7 ; 

Solomon cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire. 

11. And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures 

7. Blessed be the LORD this day. Hiram recognises Jehovah (the 
word ' Lord ' iu large capitals in our Bibles is always the translation of 
the proper name of God), as the national God of Israel. Of. the words of 
Jephthah to the Ammonites (Judges xi. 24). But, according to 2 Chron. 
ii. 12, Hiram, like Melchizedek (Gen. xiv.), acknowledges Jehovah as 
the supreme divinity. 

8. Timber of fir. More probably 'cypress' (R.V. margin). See 
Oxford Helps to Study of Bible. 

9. Unto the place that thou shalt appoint me. This place is given in 
2 Chron. ii. 16 as Joppa, which would be the most likely place, as being 
practically the only seaport of Palestine. 

Thou Shalt accomplish my desire. The Tyrians were one of the great 
sea-powers of antiquity, having a very small land territory, and therefore, 
like oui'selves, largely dependent for food-supply upon their commerce 
with other nations. The Tyrian workmen were famous all over the 
known world for their skill in the arts, especially in dyeing, embroidery, 
and working in metals. This skill is frequently alluded to, not only in 
the Old Testament, but in the classical writers, especially in Homer, 
whose poems were perhaps written not long after this time. 

11. And Solomon gave Hiram, etc. The quantity of corn and oil as 
given in 2 Chron. ii. is much larger than this ; and wine is also men- 
tioned. The addition of wine is no doubt correct, as this was one of the 
characteristic products of Palestine, especially of the rich vineyards of 
Ephraim. See Isa. xxviii. and Amos v., vi. 

14 1 KINGS V. ; VI. 

of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures 
of pure oil : thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year. 
12. And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised 
him : and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon ; 
and they two made a league together. 13. And king 
Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel ; and the levy was 
thirty thousand men. 14, And he sent them to Lebanon, 
ten thousand a month by courses : a month they were in 
Lebanon, and two months at home : and Adoniram loas 
over the levy. 15. And Solomon had threescore and ten 
thousand that bare burdens, and fourscore thousand hewers 
in the mountains ; 16. Beside the chief of Solomon's 
officers which were over the work, three thousand and 
three hundred, which ruled over the people that wrought 
in the work. 17. And the king commanded, and they 
brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to 
lay the foundation of the house. 18. And Solomon's 
4 Gebalites. builders and Hiram's builders did hew them^ and the ^ stone- 
squarers : so they prej^ared timber and stones to build the 

13. And king Solomon raised a levy. This forced labour was no doubt 
part of the ' grievous service ' and ' heavy yoke ' which the northern 
tribes made a pretext for breaking away from the rule of Rehoboam 
(1 Kings xii.). Such labour was common under ancient kings and under 
the feudal system in medieval Europe, In France it lasted down to the 
eve of the Revolution, and was one of the contributing causes of that 

In the case of Solomon's Temple, however, as in that of many of the 
niedia3val churches and cathedrals, the labour was no doubt gladly given 
by the more loyal and religiously disposed. It was a sacred and national 
work, and those who could not contribute money could give their 

15. Threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens, etc. These, 
according to 2 Chron. ii, 17, were non-Israelites, or resident aliens, no 
doubt in most cases the descendants of the original inhabitants of Pales- 
tine, such as the Gibeonites. 

18. The stone- squarers. This word is derived from the Targum or later 
Jewish paraphrases of the Scriptures, The true meaning is given by the 
Revised Version as Gebalites, or men of Gebal, a Pha^nician city, who 
are also mentioned by Ezekiel (xxvii. 9) as skilled shipwrights, or 
' caulkers,' 


VI. 1. And it came to pass in the four hundred and 
eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of 
the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign 
over Israel, in the month '^ Zif, which is the second month, ^ Ziv, 
that he began to build the house of the Lord. 2. And 
the house which king Solomon built for the Lord, the 
length thereof ivas threescore cubits, and the breadth 
thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits, 
3. And the porch before the temple of the house, twenty 
cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of 
the house ; and ten cubits was the breadth thereof before 
the house. 4. And for the house he made windows of 
^ narrow lights. 5. And against the wall of the house he e of fixed 
built ^ chambers round about, against the walls of the / stories. 

VI. 1. In the four hundred and eightieth year. It is impossible to 
harmonise this date with the dates given in the earlier part of the Old 
Testament. It is practically impossible to construct a reliable Old Testa- 
ment chronology at all, as those given in the Hebrew, Greek, and 
Samaritan versions all differ considerably. It was evidently no part of 
the Divine inspiration of the Old Testament to give lis exact dates. 
Moreover, it must be remembered that numbers with the Jews were often 
used as symbols to express ideas rather than so many units, e.g. 7 and 
12 often imply 'perfection' ; 1000, a completed period, etc. 

The month Zif. The first month being the month of the Passover, 
March-April, corresponding to our Easter-time, the second would be the 
month of full spring or early summer, hence the name Zif, which means 
' brightness.' 

2. The house which king Solomon built for the LORD. See supplemen- 
tary note, p. 31. 

The length thereof was threescore cubits. There is considerable un- 
certainty as to the exact length of the 'cubit.' There were probably an 
earlier and a later cubit (2 Chron. iii. 3), the former being the larger of 
the two, the shorter measure coming into use during the Captivity. The 
original meaning of a cubit, the measurement from the finger-tips to the 
elbow, is apparently alluded to in Rev. xxi. 17. About eighteen inches 
may be reasonabl}'' assumed as the length of the cubit in the measure- 
ments of the Temple. 

3. The porch before the temple of the house. The 'temple of the 
house' means the Holy Place, the Holy of Holies being designated 
' the oracle ' (v. 5). 

4. Windows of narrow lights. See supplementary note and Revised 
Version. A variant translation is given in the margin of the Authorised 
Version, 'windows broad within and narrow without,' i.e. 'splayed' like 
the narrow church windows of Norman and Early English styles. 

16 1 KINGS V. ; VI. 

house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle : 

8 side- and he made ^ chambers round about : 6. The nethermost 

9 story. ^ chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle was six 

cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad : for 

10 rebatements. without in the wall of the house he made ^° narrowed rests 

11 have hold, round about, that the beams should not ^^ be fastened in 

the walls of the house. 7. And the house, when it was in 

12 made ready building, was built of stone ^^ made ready before it was 

at the quarry. 

brought thither : so that there was neither hammer nor 

ax 710?- any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in 

13 side- building. 8. The door for the middle ^^ chamber was in 
chambers. ° 

the right side of the house : and they went up ^vith wind- 

14 chambers, jj^g glairs into the middle ^^ chamber, and out of the middle 

into the third. 9. So he built the house, and finished it ; 
and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar. 

15 the stories. 10. And then he built ^^ chambers against all the house, 

five cubits high : and they rested on the house with timber 
of cedar. 11. And the word of the Lord came to Solomon, 
saying, 12. Concerning this house which thou art in build- 
ing, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my 
judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in 
them ; then will I perform my word with thee, which I 
8 ; Lev.'xxvi. spake unto David thy father : 13. And I will '^ dwell among 
16; Rev.' XX?.' 3. the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people 

0. Narrowed rests. See supplementary note. The two upper stories 
whicli surrounded three sides of the Temple rested, not upon beams fixed 
in the Temple walls, but upon 'rebatements' or structural ledges in the 
walls themselves. 

7. Stone made ready before it was brought thither. See Revised 
Version. Motives of reverence seem to have dictated this preparation 
of the stones at a distance from the Temple site. Perhaps also the 
directions of the Law (Exod. xx. 25 ; Deut. xxvii. 5), that no iron tool 
should be used in building an altar, influenced Solomon's builders. 

12. Concerning this house which thou art building. It should be noted 
what insistence is laid upon tb-c moral side of religion. The l)uilding of 
the Temple was indeed an act pleasing to God ; the labour, the art, and 
the wealth spent upon it were acceptable to Him, but only in proportion 
as they were signs of the inward obedience of the heart and will. 

13. I will dwell among the children of Israel. This is a typical 


Israel. 14. So Solomon l)uilt the house, and finished it. 

15. And he built the walls of the house within with boards 

of cedar, i*^ both the floor of the house, ^"^ and the walls of le from. 
the cieling : ^^ and he covered them on the inside with is omit and. 
wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir. 

16. And he built twenty cubits on the ^^ sides of the i9 hinder part, 
house, -*^ both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar : '-^o from the 
he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even walls. 

for Hhe most holy jj/ace. 17. And the house, that is, the e Exod. xxvi. 

temple before ^^ it, was forty cubits long. 18. And the 21 before' the 

cedar of the house within ivas carved with knops and open 

flowers : all was cedar ; there was no stone seen. 19. And 

the oracle he prepared ^2 in the house within, to set there -2 in the midst 

1 •■ /. 1 n T T ^^ OQ 1 1 1 1 of t^® house 

the ark of the covenant of the Lord. 20. ^•^And the oracle within. 

in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty the oracle was 

cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof : ^ ^^^^^ ° ' 

and he overlaid it with pure gold ; and so covered the altar 

-^ which was of cedar. 21. So Solomon overlaid the house --' with cedar. 

within with pure gold : and ^^ he made a partition by the 25 he drew 

chains of gold before the oracle ; and he overlaid it with across. 

gold. 22. And the whole house he overlaid with gold, 

until he had finished all the house : also the whole altar 

that -^was by the oracle he overlaid with gold. 23. And 2« belonged to. 

within the oracle he made two •'"cherubims of olive tree, / Exod. xxxvii. 

Messianic promise, often repeated in the Old Testament. It points to 
the Incarnation, the permanent tabernacling of God in human flesh, of 
which Tabernacle and Temple are most direct types. Cf. Heb. ix. 

16. And lie built twenty cubits on the sides of the house. This verse 
describes the buildiDg of the Holy of Holies as if it were an addition to 
the Holy Place ; the former was much more separate than is generally 
imagined, being of lesser height than the Holy Place, and separated 
from it by a wooden partition, with doors in it (described in verses 31, 32). 
In front of this partition were golden chains (ver. 21), and probably also 
a veil (2 Chron. iii. 14). 

18. Knops. The word in the original is obscure, but apparently means 
'gourds,' though not the usual word. These 'knops' would doubtless 
be some raised ornaments like the carved bosses in modern decoration. 

23. And within the oracle he made two cherubims. In the commands 
given to Moses concerning the building of the Tabernacle it is assumed 

nEB. MON. : VOL. II. 


18 1 KINGS V. : VI. 

each ten cubits high. 24. And five cubits was the one 
wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the 
cherub : from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the 
uttermost part of the other were ten cubits, 25. And 
the other cherub ivas ten cubits : both the cherubims were 
27 form. of one measure and one 2" size. 26. The height of the one 

cherub tvas ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub. 

27. And he set the cherubims within the inner house : 
and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so 
that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the 
wing of the other cherub touched the other wall ; and 
their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. 

28. And he overlaid the cherubims with gold. 29. And 
he carved all the walls of the house round about with 
carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open 
flowers, within and without. 30. And the floor of the 
house he overlaid with gold, within and without. 31. And 

that the form of the cherubim is well known (Exod. xxv.). It is some- 
times thought that they were represented by winged bulls, as on the 
Assyrian sculptures. But in Ezekiel's visions the cherubim (Ezek. i. and 
X.) have four faces — those of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle. With 
these correspond the four ' living creatures ' in Rev. iv. The cherubim 
are evidently angelic beings of extraordinary might. In Ps. xviii., as 
well as Ezek. i., their office is to form a cliariot for God ; and it is often 
thought that they are tlie angels of the great powers of nature, of the 
thunderstorm, and the whirlwind. Their images within the Holy of 
Holies would evidently suggest the presence of God, its awfulness and 
its mysterj" ; perliaps also tlie separation of man from God, which was 
the result of the Fall. (Of. Gen. iii. 2-4.) It is not certain which way the 
faces of the cherubim were turned. In 2 Chron. iii. 13 they apparently 
faced the high priest as he entered from the Holy Place. But in Exod. 
xxv. 20 they face each other, as if brooding over the deep mysteries of 
God's revelation in the Mercy-seat and the Ark ; this is perhaps alluded to 
in 1 S. Peter i. 12. As has often been pointed out, the command to make 
images of these angelic beings shows that the second commandment 
forbids idolatry only, and not the use of art in religious worship. Cheru- 
bim were also represented on the walls (ver. 29) and doors (ver. 32), and 
were embroidered on the veil (2 Chron. iii. 14). 

30. And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and with- 
out, i.e. the floor both of the Holy Place and of the Holy of Holies 
was covered with gold. Cf. the description of the New Jerusalem in 
Rev. xxi. 21. 


for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree : 

the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall. 

32. 28 The two doors also imre of olive tree : and he carved 28 go he made 

upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open 

flowers, and overlaid them with gold, and spread gold upon 

the cherubims, and upon the palm trees. 33. So also 

made he for the door of the temple posts of olive tree, a 

fourth part of the loall. 34. ^^And the two doors were of'i^ ; andtAvo 

fir tree, the two leaves of the one door were folding, and wood. 

the tAvo leaves of the other door were folding. 35. And he 

carved thereon cherubims and palm trees and open flowers : 

and covered them with gold fitted upon the carved work. 

36. And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed 

stone, and a row of cedar beams. 37. In the fourth year 

was the foundation of the house of the Lord laid, in the 

month ^'^Zif : 38. And in the eleventh year, in the month so ziy. 

Bui, which is the eighth month, was the house finished 

throughout all the j)arts thereof, and according to all the 

fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it. 

36. And lie touilt the inner court, etc. This ' inner court ' nuist have 
been ' the court of the priests, ' standing on a higher level than the court 
which contained the worshippers. The description is, however, some- 
what obscure. The ' three rows of hewed stone ' and the ' row of cedar 
beams ' are evidently some sort of partition between the higher and lower 
courts, but it is impossible to say exactly of what sort, whether steps or 
a kind of sunken fence. 

38. The month Bui. The name of this month does not occur elsewhere. 
Etymologically it denotes a ' rainy ' month, and would correspond to 
October or November. 


1 KINGS V. ; VI. 


Solomon building the Temple 


1. True wisdom. 

Solomon's divinely given wisdom 
manifests itself in his zeal to build 
the Temple. He put God first. He 
received the treasure which his 
father had prepared, as a sacred 
trust, and used it for a purpose 
which to a worldly mind might 
have seemed unpractical or even 
extravagant. But he knew that 
religion is the foundation of human 
society, and that a nation can only 
be rightly established on that basis. 
National unity depends on unity of 
religious purpose. The worship of 
God is a higher consideration than 
material progress, success in war, 
or the acquisition of wealth and 

2. Conscientiousness. 

All the work for the Temple was 
of the best. No labour nor trouble 
nor expense was spared. The most 
precious wood and metal only were 
used. The beauty of the Temple 
once erected would be seen by few- 
human eyes : the high priest only, 
once a year, would see the cherubim; 
the priests only in their daily offer- 
ing of incense would see the carved 
cedar work overlaid with gold and 
the other inner bea;ities of the 
Sanctuary. But ' the palace was 
not for man but for the Lord God ' 
(1 Chi'on. XX ix. 1). So in the same 
spirit the Temple was built on the 
ancient pattern which had been 
revealed ; fancy and invention had 
little place in its construction 
(1 Chron. xxviii. 19). 

3. Co-operation. 

The Temple was a national work, 
and all took part in its building. 
Even the heathen Tyrians were 


1. Recapitulate Solomon's choice 
of wisdom. 

Show that the worship and service 
of God is the first and most im- 
portant matter. This may be illus- 
trated by the fact that in most 
villages the church is the first 
object that strikes the eye from a 
distance. So in London the dome 
of S. Paul's is the most striking 
object in the city. 

2. Make it clear that the Temple 
was not for people to meet in (the 
phrase ' tabernacle of the congrega- 
tion ' is misleading, it should be 
rendered 'tabernacle of meeting,' 
i. e. where God and man meet) ; 
hence everything in the Temple 
was directly for God. 

Point out that it is right to give 
for the service of God the richest 
and best that we can. 

Show that it is right to use art in 
the service of God, so long as it is 
for God and not for ourselves. 

See Lesson xxviii. in vol. i. on 
David's preparation for the Temple. 

3. Illustrate by the Magi bring- 
ing their several gifts : Mary of 
Bethany anointing the head of our 



Lesson II — continued. Solomon Building the Temple 


summoned to bring their treasures 
of nature and art to the work. All 
the highest work of man should be 
consecrated to the service of God ; 
and all mankind have something of 
their own to offer. So in the com- 
plete ideal of the Church (Rev. xxi. 
24) ' the kings of the earth bring 
their gloi'y and honour into it. ' 


Children should be taught that 
almsgiving is part of worship, and 
encouraged to offer whatever they 
can to tlie service of God ; remind 
of offertory, alms-box. 

The widow's mite may be re- 
ferred to (S. Mark xii. 41-44). 

Blackboard Sketch. 

The Building- of the Temple. 

1. God should alwaj's come^^'s^. 

2. God should always have the best that we can 


3. All can give something to God — money, work. 

' Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy 

house ; and the place where Thine honour 

dwelleth.'— Ps. xxvi. 8. 


Solomon's Temple 


1. The Temple. 

The Temple was not merely a 
place for sacrifice and prayer : it 
had a deep typical significance, (a) 
It showed that God, although the 
Fall had separated mankind from 
Him, still loved men, and desired to 
meet them and dwell among them 
(see Exod. xxv. 8). (6) It showed 
that God's purpose was to unite Him- 
self with man in the Incarnation. 
The Tabernacle had been made after 
a heavenly pattern shown by God to 


1. Ask for what purpose the 
Temple was built. Refer to Exod. 
xxv. 8. Show that its purpose is 
fulfilled for us when God and man 
met to dwell together for ever at 
the Incarnation. 

So our Lord speaks of His body 
as a temple (S. John ii. 19-21 ; cf. 
Eph. i. 22, 23). Our churches, also, 
are not only places for worship 
and instruction : they are built to 
remind us that God ever dwells 
amongst us. 


1 KINGS V. ; VI. 

Lesson III — continued. Solomon's Temple 


Moses (Exod. xxv. 40 and Wisd. 
ix. 8). So when the Word was made 
flesh, this permanent dwelling of 
(xod with us is expressed by the 
word ' tabernacle ' (S. John i. 14) : 
' dwelt ' = tabernacled. See also 
Uev. xxi. 3. 

2. The Holy Place. 

This part of the Temple is sym- 
bolical of the present world, the 
visible Church. Under the old 
dispensation, however, only the 
priests entered this for the purpose 
of worship (Heb. ix. 6). It was 
shut oflt" by a veil from the laity. 
This veil was rent in twain at the 
Crucifixion, thus showing that all 
Christians would be allowed to take 
part in the worship of God. There 
is still a divinely appointed priest- 
hood in the Christian Church ; but 
the baptized and confirmed Christian 
has a real share in Christian wor- 
ship. He eats of the Lord's table, 
and takes part in the Christian 
sacrifice, e.g. by the Amen at the 
end of the Consecration Prayer. 
Cf. Heb. xiii. 10 ; 1 Cor. xiv. 16. 

3. The Holy of Holies. 

The innermost part of the Temple, 
shut off by walls, chains of gold, 
and a second veil, is symbolical of 
heaven itself, the immediate pre- 
sence of God (Heb. ix. 12, 24). 
Just as cherubim guarded the 
entrance of Eden, after man had 
been expelled in mercy, so cheru- 
bim were eml)roidered on the veil, 
and colossal images of cherubim 
kept watch and ward over the 
Mercy-seat and tlve Ark. 

Christians in their mortal state 
cannot as yet enter into this part 
of 'the true tabernacle,' but the 
way to it is made clear (Heb. ix. 8), 
and Christ in our flesh has entered 
into it once for all. 

Much help may be gained on this 
suljject from Willis, Worsliij) of the 
Old Covenant. 

2. Illustrate this by the nave of 
a church, where the congregation 
usually assemble. Now they are 
inside, not out in the courtyard as 
in the Jewish temple before Christ 

All should take part in the wor- 
ship. Speak of a reverent use of 
the responses in our services. 

3. Illustrate this by the choir or 
chancel of our Church, which is 
meant to be symbolical of heaven. 
It is usually the most beautiful 
part of a church, and it is there 
where God and man most closely 
meet in the Holy Communion. 

The ancient custom in England 
was to place a rood or figure of the 
Crucifixion on the chancel arch, 
to show that it is by the Cross 
and Passion of Christ that the way 
into the holiest of all is now made 

Cf. Collect for the Annunciation. 



Blackboard Sketch. 

Solomon's Temple. 

1. The Tem'ple = th.e meeting-place of God and 

God and man are now united for ever in Jesus 

The Church of Jesus Christ is the True 


2. The Holy Place — the Church in this world. 
Christians are inside, Jews are outside, 

3. The Holy of Holies = the Church in heaven. 
Christians are not yet there, but they know 

the way : and Christ is there. 

Learn — ' I am the way, the truth, and the life : 
no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.' 

24 1 KINGS YII. 1-22 : 2 CHRON. IV. ; V. 1 

1 KINGS YII. 1-22 ; 2 CHRON. IV. ; V. 1 

BUT Sol( 

Solomon was building his own house thirteen 

1 For he built i } years, and he finished all his house. 2. ^ He built 

also the house of the forest of Lebanon ; the 
length thereof was an hundred cubits, and the breadth 
thereof fifty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits, 
upon four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon the 

2 over the forty pillars. 3. And it ivas covered with cedar above ^ upon 

and five beams, • . . 

that were upon the beams, that lay on forty five pillars, fifteen in a row. 

3 prospects. 4. And there were ^ windows in three rows, and light was 

4 square in" against light in three ranks. 5. And all the doors and 
prospec . posts ivcre ■* square, with the windows ; and light was 

against light in three ranks. 6. And he made a porch of 
pillars ; the length thereof ivas fifty cubits, and the breadth 

VII. 2. The house of the forest of Lebanon. This was evidently the 
armoury of Solomon's palace (x. 17). Its name was derived not only 
from the source of the timber with which it was built, but from the 
rows of cedar pillars within, which suggested the trunks of trees in a 
forest. It will be noticed that while the height of this building was the 
same as that of the Temple, its area was more than three times as 

3. And it was covered with cedar above upon the beams. The word 
rendered ' beams ' here is quite a difierent word from that in the previous 
verse. It is the same word as that rendered ' side-chambers ' in the 
description of the Temple in chap. vi. The Revised Version gives in the 
margin 'side-chambers; Heb. ribs.' Probably the house was open to 
the roof in the centre, witli three stories of side-chambers running round 
(probably) three sides. The four rows of pillars would support these 
tiers of side-chambers. Thus the building would have a central hall, 
with the side-chambers encircling it. In the Temple these chambers 
were outside the walls ; in this house they were irithin. The description 
of the windows (verses 4, 5) is somewhat obscure, but probably it means 
that each story had its row of lattice-work windows, exactly opposite to 
those of the corresponding story on the other side. 

6. And he made a porch of pillars, etc. This description is again 
obscure. Probablv the ' thick beam ' is the threshold, then came the 
entrance porch with its pillars, which led into the large building called 
' the porch of pillars.' This was not a ' porch ' in our sense, but either a 
building whose roof was supported on pillars, like a basilica or modern 
church, or an open court with a cloister. In Herod's Temple ' Solomon's 
Porch ' (S. John x. 23) was a cloister with a treble row of columns, which 
ran down the east side of the Temple court. 


thereof thirty cubits : and the porch was before them : and 
•^the other pillars and the thick beam were before them, s the pillars 
7. Then he made ^ a porch for the throne, where he might beams, 
judge, even the porch of judgment : and it was covered the throne. ° 
with cedar ' from one side of the floor to the other. 8. And " from floor lo 
his house where he dwelt ^liad another court within the s , the other 
porch, which was of the like work. Solomon made also the p^oTch,' was 
an house for Pharaoh's daughter, whom he had taken to o^the like work. 
wife.^ like unto this porch. 9. All these were of costly- 
stones, ^ according to the measures of hewed stones, sawed '^ even of hewn 
with saws, within and without, even from the foundation ing to measure. 
unto the coping, and so on the outside toward the great 
court. 10. And the foundation was of costly stones, even 
great stones, stones of ten cubits, and stones of eight cubits. 
11, And above u'ere costly stones, ''after the measures of 
hewed stones and cedars. 12. And the great court round 
about ivas with three rows of hewed stones, and a row of 
cedar beams, "^^ both for the inner court of the house of the lo like as. 
Lord, and ^^for the porch of the house. 13. And king ^^ omf* for. 
Solomon sent and fetched « Hiram out of Tyre. 14. He « 2 Chron. iv. 
was a widow's son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father 
was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass : and he was filled 
with ^ wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all '^ Exod. xxxi. 3. 
works in brass. And he came to king Solomon, and 
wrought all his work. 15. For he cast two '^ pillars of brass, c 2 Kings xxv. 
of eighteen cubits high apiece : and a line of twelve cubits 

13. And king- Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre. According 
to 2 Chron. ii. 13, 14, King Hiram suggested to Solomon the employment 
of this artificer. His name (like that of the king) is there spelt Huram ; 
and he is said to have been of the tribe of Dan. But the discrepancy is 
not a serious one, as Naphtali and the northern Dan adjoined, and both 
were close to Phoenicia. 

15. For he cast two pillars of brass. These two pillars were evidently 
well known at the time of the writing of 1 Kings, and were one of the 
most remarkable features of Solomon's Temple. They were carried to 
Babylon among the spoil by the Chaldreans at the destruction of Jeru- 
salem (2 Kings xxv. and Jer. lii.). They seem to have been erected 
before the Temple porch, not for the purpose of supporting any part of 

26 1 KINGS VII. 1-22 ; 2 CHRON. IV. ; V. 1 

did compass either of them about. 16, And he made two 

chapiters of molten brass, to set upon the tops of the 

pillars : the height of the one chapiter was five cubits, and 

the height of the other chapiter was five cubits : 17. And 

nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the 

chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars ; seven for 

the one chapiter, and seven for the other chapiter. 18. And 

he made the pillars, and two rows round about upon the 

one network, to cover the chapiters that were u^Don the top, 

1- of the pillars. ^^ with pomegranates : and so did he for the other chapiter. 

19. And the chapiters that were upon the top of the 

13 And there pillars were of lily work in the porch, four cubits. 20. ^^And 

above also upon the chapiters upon the two pillars had jJomegranates also 

close by,^'etc.^^' abovB, over against the belly which was by the network : 

and the pomegranates tvere two hundred in rows round 

about upon the other chapiter. 21. And he set up the 

pillars in the jjorch of the temple : and he set up the right 

the masonry, but as ornaments, and for religious teaching, as implied in 
the proper names, Jachin and Boaz, given to them (see notes on ver. 21). 
The height of the pillars was twenty-three cubits, including the 
'chapiters' or capitals; their circumference twelve cubits; and, as we 
learn from Jer. Hi. 21, they were hollow, the brass being 'four fingers' 

It was not l^ncommon to erect pillars for a religious memorial (Gen. 
xxviii. 18 ; Isa. xix. 19), and there were detached pillars in front of some 
of the great heathen temples of antiquity, e.g. that of Aphrodite at Paphos. 
The Greek historian Herodotus speaks of two pillars in the temple of 
Heracles (the Syrian Baal) at Tyre, of which one was of fine gold and 
the other of emerald ! 

17. Nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work. These expres- 
sions describe the ornamental metal-work of the lower, rounded part of 
the capitals. The ' nets ' would be some sort of light interlacing wreaths, 
and the ' wreaths of chain work ' would be festoons. These decorations 
were apparently not cast in one piece with the capitals, but fastened 
round them. The 'seven ' in the next sentence is apparently a copyist's 
error. There was only one 'net' for each capital, as in LXX. This 
lower part of the capitals was also adorned with ' pomegranates ' (ver. 
20). The whole of this decorated part of the capital was only one cubit 
in width ; the remaining four cubits (ver. 19) were decorated with lilies, 
examples of which have been found in ancient architecture. See the pic- 
tures of the temple of Perscpolis in Smith's Dktionary of the Bible 
under 'Temple.' 


pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin : and he set up 
the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz. 22. And 
upon the top of the pillars was lily work : so was the work 
of the pillars finished. 

2 CHRON. IV. 1. Moreover he made an ^ altar of brass, d Exod. xxvii. 

1, 2. 

twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the 
breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof. 2. Also 
he made a ^ molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, « i Kings vii. 

' 23-2(5. 

round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof ; and 
a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about. 3. And 
under it was the similitude of oxen, which did compass it 

21. Jachin . . . Boaz. These names apparently mean 'establishment' 
and ' strength.' Evidently they signify the divine support and strength 
of Solomon's work. Various allegorical meanings have been assigned to 
them by church writers, e.g. the Jew and the Gentile sharing in the 
Catholic Church. Perhaps there is an allusion to these pillars in the 
promise of Rev. iii. 12. 

2 Chrox. IV. 1. He made an altar of brass. This is the altar of burnt- 
ofi"ering which stood in the court, in front of the Holy Place. The 
dimensions given here are much larger than those prescribed in Exod. 
xxxviii. The altar must have been served by means of a flight of steps, 
as in Ezek. xliii. 17. 

2. Also lie made a molten sea. This gigantic vessel seems to have 
corresponded in its purpose to the 'laver' of Exod. xxx. Ceremonial 
washing was a characteristic of most ancient religions. In the Law of 
Moses it had divine sanction, as a sign of the purity required of all 
worshippers, and especially of those who minister about holy things. 
The ' laver ' or ' sea ' would also be a type of Holy Baptism. See Titus 
iii. 5, 'the washing (R.V. margin 'laver') of regeneration,' and Heb. 
X. 22. 

Interesting parallels to the ceremonial washings of Judaism are seen in 
some ancient Christian ceremonies, e.g. the use of holy water, especially 
at the church door ; the ' Lavabo ' or washing of the priest's hands at the 
celebration of the Eucharist. 

It is uncertain how this ' sea ' was filled with water, or how it was 
used. Its height was such that either steps would be required, as for 
the brazen altar, or else, as has been suggested, the mouths of the oxen 
on which it rested formed fountains through which the water flowed. 
The 'sea' was despoiled of its oxen by Ahaz (2 Kings xvi. 17), and 
afterwards broken in pieces by the Chaldseans and taken to Babylon 
(2 Kings XXV. ; Jer. Iii.). 

3. And under it was the similitude of oxen. The parallel account in 
1 Kings vii. 24 has 'knops,' i.e. ornamental bosses for 'oxen,' which is 
probabl}' correct ; especially as the next words show that these orna- 
ments were not separate, but were cast in the mould upon the 'sea.' 
But the whole verse is obscure, and probably the text is corrupt. 

28 1 KINGS VIT. 1-22 ; 2 CHRON. IV. ; V. 1 

round about : ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round 
14 The oxen about. ^^ Two TOWS of oxeu ivere cast, when it was cast. 

were in two 

rows, cast when 4. It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the 
it was cast. , i . , , . 

north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking 

toward the south, and three looking toward the east : and 
the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts 
icere inward. 5. And the thickness of it ivas an hand- 
is like the brim breadth, and the brim of it ^'^ like the work, of the brim of a 
the flower of a cup, with flowers of lilies ; and it received and held 
^ ^" three thousand baths. 6. He made also ten lavers, and put 

five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in 
^<5 such things them : ^^ such things as they ofiered for the burnt ofiering 
they washed in them ; but the sea was for the priests to 
17 according to wash in. 7. And he made ten candlesticks of gold ^^ accord- 

the ordinance . , • ,. t • , 

concerning mg to their loriii, and set them m the temple, five on the 


right hand, and five on the left. 8. He made also ten 
tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right 

4. It stood upon twelve oxen. Whatever interpretation be given to 
ver. 3, both accounts agree in stating that the sea stood upon twelve 
brazen oxen, three facing to each of the cardinal points. See a picture 
in Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible under ' Sea, Brazen.' 

5. With flowers of lilies. The Revised Version gives the correct 
meaning of this, viz. that the rim of the sea was bent outward like the 
petals of a lily. 

It received and held three thousand baths. 1 Kings vii. 26 gives two 
thousand. The capacity of the ' bath ' is variously given from 4| to 
8 gallons. As in the case of the 'cubit,' the earlier capacity of the 
' bath ' was larger than that in use in later times. 

6. He made also ten lavers. These lavers are most elaborately de- 
scribed in 1 Kings vii. 27-38. Their bases rested on wheels, and they 
were adorned with engraved figures of cherul)iin, lions, oxen, and palm- 
trees. Each laver was four cubits high, and contained forty * baths.' 

7. And he made ten candlesticks. The ' form ' or ' ordinance ' referred 
to is no doul)t that prescribed to Moses in Exod. xl. for the Tabernacle, 
but no reason can be assigned for ten being made for Solomon's Temple, 
except the greater size and splendour of the latter. The candlesticks are 
mentioned as having been carried away to Babylon (Jer. lii. 19) ; in the 
second Temple apparently there was only one ; and one only is portrayed 
on the Arch of Titus at Rome in the relief representing the spoils of 

8. He made also ten tables. 1 Kings vii. 48 speaks of only one table, 
evidently for the shewbread. Cf. 2 Chron. xiii. 11. It is possible that 


side, and five on the left. And lie made an hundred 

basons of gold. 9. Furthermore he made the court of the 

priests, and the great court, and doors for the court, and 

overlaid the doors of them with brass. 10. And he set the 

sea on the right side of the east end, over against the south. 

11. And Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the 

basons. And Huram finished the work that he was to 

make for king Solomon for the house of God ; 12. To wit, 

the two pillars, and the ^^ pommels, and the chapiters ivhich is bowls. 

were on the top of the two pillars, and the two ^^ wreaths ^9 networks. 

to cover the two ^^^ pommels of the chapiters which tvere on 

the top of the pillars ; 13. And four hundred pomegranates 

20 on the two wreaths ; two rows of pomegranates on each 20 for the two 

wreath, to cover the two ^^ pommels of the chapiters which 

were upon the pillars. 14. He made also bases, and lavers 

made he upon the bases ; 15. One sea, and twelve oxen 

under it. 16. The pots also, and the shovels, and the 

fleshhooks, and all their instruments, did Huram his father 

make to king Solomon for the house of the Lord of ])right 

brass. 17. In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, 

in the clay ground between Succoth and ^i Zeredathab. -1 Zeredaii. 

18. Thus Solomon made all these vessels in great abund- 
ance : for the weight of the brass could not be found out. 

19. And Solomon made all the vessels that were for the 
house of God, the golden altar also, and the tables whereon 
the shewbread was set ; 20. Moreover the candlesticks with 

their lamps, that they should burn -'^ after the manner the ordinaiKie. 

these ten tables were for other purposes, though 1 Chron. xxviii. 16 
speaks of ' gold for the tables of shewbread ' being prepared by David. 
See also ver. 19 below. 

8. And he made an hundred basons of gold. These were probably for 
carrying the blood of the sacrifices and pouring it against the altar. Only 
thirty golden bowls were brought back from Babylon (Ezra i.). 

12. The pommels, i.e. the rounded or lower part of the capital of the 

16. Huram his father. ' Father ' is here evidently a title of respect, as 
commonly used in Hebrew. Cf. ii. 13, where probably the right reading 
is 'even Huram my father' (R. V. margin). 

30 1 KINGS VII. 1-22 ; 2 CHRON. lY. ; V. 1 

before the oracle, of pure gold ; 21. And the flowers, and 

the lamps, and the tongs, made he of gold, and that perfect 

gold ; 22. And the snuffers, and the basons, and the spoons, 

23 fire-pans. and the 2^ censers, of pure gold : and the entry of the 

house, the inner doors thereof for the most holy_2J'/ace, and 

'^i to wit, of the doors of the house ^^ of the temple, were of gold, 
the temple. ^ ' "^ ^ 

2 CHRON. V. 1. Thus all the work that Solomon made 

for the house of the Lord was finished : and Solomon 
brought in all the things that David his father had dedi- 
cated ; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instru- 
25 in the trea- ,10- ^ o i ^ <» /-^ i 

suries. ments, put he -'^ among the treasures of the house 01 God, 

The Furniture of the Temple 

An instructive lesson might be given, at the discretion of the teacher, 
illustrated by drawings, upon the sacred vessels and furniture of the 
Temple, and their typical meanings. 

1. The Court contained (1) the altar of burnt-offering, which was 
typical of the one true sacrifice of Christ ; (2) the sea, a type of Holy 
Baptism, fittingly placed between the altar and the porch, for Baptism 
takes its efficacy only from the Blood of Christ (cf. 1 S. John v. 6), and 
is the only way of entrance into the Church ; (.3) the lavers, which point 
to the necessity of continual purification in all that pertains to Christian 
life and worship (cf. S. John xiii. 3-10). 

2. The Holy Place contained (1) the candlesticks or lamp-stands, which 
are tj-pical of the illumination of the H0I3' Spirit in the Church, and of 
the seven gifts given to Christians ; (2) the table or tables of shewbread, 
typical of the j)erpetual nourishment for the soul provided in the Church 
by Word and Sacraments ; (3) the altar of incense, typical of the con- 
tinual worship of the Church, which is offered in union with the merits 
of Jesus Christ, a ' sweet savour ' acceptable to God. Cf. Rev. viii. 3, 4 

' God still respects thy sacrifice, 
Its savour sweet doth always please ; 
The Oflering smokes through earth and skies, 
Difl'usiiiK life and joy and peace : 
To tliese thy lower courts it comes, 
And fills them with Divine perfumes. ' 

Hymns A. and M., 556. 

3. The Holy of Holies contained the Ark of the Covenant, typical of 
the glorified humanity of Christ in heaven, and His finished and accepted 
sacrifice, which He is ever pleading in the presence of the Father. The 
Ark had within it the tables of the Law, for God is essentially righteous : 



the moral law, which is the basis of all God's revelation of Himself to 
man, expresses to man not merely Divine commands, but God's eternal 
nature, character, and will. 

Blackboard Sketch. 

The Furniture of the Temple. 

The Temple Court— 

The Altar =the Cross of Christ. 

The Sea =Holy Baptism. 

The La vers = our continual need of forgiveness. 

The Holy Place— 

The Candlesticks = the Holy Spirit. 

The Shewbread =Holy Communion. 

The Altar of License = the worship of the Catho- 
lic Church in earth 
and heaven. 

The Holy of Holies— 

The Ark = Christ our High Priest in 

heaven, worshipped by 
cherubim and seraphim. 

The tables of stone = ' Holy, Holy, Holy." 


It has been generally assumed that Solomon's Temple and Solomon's 
palace were on different hills of Jerusalem, the former on the eastern 
hill or Mount Moriah, the latter on the western or Mount Zion. Modern 
scholars, however, incline to the belief that anciently one and the same 
hill was called Zion and Moriah, and that the Temple and the palace 
were adjacent, and indeed within the same enclosure. See Hastings' 
Dictionary of the Bible under 'Temple.' 

Be that as it may, it is practically certain that the Temple stood on 
the platform now occupied by the Mosque of Omar or ' Dome of the 
Rock.' Probably the altar of burnt-ofifering stood on the remarkable 
rock which remains in its natural state enclosed within the present 
mosque, a limestone rock some 50 feet by 60 feet. (See Stanley, Sinai 


and Palestine, chap, iii.) This rock contains a chasm, through which the 
blood of the sacrifices may have flowed. A spring of water flowed from 
this rock into the pool of Siloam : — 

' Siloa's brook that flow'd 
Fast bj^ the oracle of God.'— Milton. 

It was here that David must have offered his sacrifice, which God 
answered by fire from heaven on the threshing-floor of Araunah. Here 
tradition says that Abraham ofl'ered up Isaac. Here, in later ages, the 
workmen of the Emperor Julian were terrified away from their profane 
task of rebuilding the Temple, as an insult to Christianit}", by fires 
which sprang from the foundations of the rock. 

Solomon's first work must have been to level the foundations ; some of 
the huge stones used in this work are still to be seen in situ. The court- 
yard in which the Temple stood was paved with stone and surrounded 
by a fence of three layers of stone and one of planks of cedar (1 Kings 
vii. 12). 

Within the courtyard stood the brazen altar, the sea, and the lavers, 
all to the east of the Temple porch. In front of the porch, whether 
structurally connected with it or not, were the two great brazen pillars, 
Jachin and Boaz. There is no record of the architecture of the poi'ch 
itself, but it may have had pillars, like most of the temples of antiquity. 
The Temple pi'oper consisted of the Holy Place, 40 cubits by 20 and 
30 cubits high ; and the Holy of Holies, or 'oracle,' a complete cube of 
20 cubits. Round the three sides of this building ran side-chambers, in 
three stories, apparently without any communication with the Temple 
proper, but entered by a side-door on the south, the upper stories having 
a winding staircase or else a ladder and trap-doors. The total height of 
these side-buildings was 15 cubits ; the wall of the Holy Place, rising 
15 cubits above them, was pierced with the lattice-work windows, like 
the clerestory of a church. It is unknown whether the Holy of Holies 
bad any windows at all. The floor timbers of these side-chambers were 
not fastened into the temple-walls, but simpl}^ rested upon ' rebatements ' 
or shelves in the walls. Hence the walls of the Temjile proper must 
have been of great thickness at the bottom, narrowing by these rebate- 
ments as they ascended. The roofs of both the Temple and the side- 
chambers were probably flat as in other Eastern buildings. It is 
unknown whether pillars were used within the Temple to support the 

The Temple was built of stone, but covered everywhere within with 
wainscotting. The floor of fir or cypress was gilded, and the wainscotting 
of the walls was decorated with carving and gilding. The wall separating 
the Holy of Holies is expressly stated to have been adorned with carvings 
of cherul)im and palm-trees, on which the gold was overlaid, by hammer- 
ing probably. It is probable that before the folding-doors of the oracle 
hung a veil, perhaps connected with the golden chains spoken of in 
1 Kings vi. 21. The Holy Place would have a certain amount of daylight 
from the high latticed windows ; but it was artificially lighted in addition 
by the seventy lamps on the ten lamp-stands, which perhaps stood 
immediately in front of the oracle. The general aspect of the interior 
must have been at once severe and beautiful, its gilded walls and 
floor reflecting the glimmering light of the lamps, and shining dimly 
through the smoke of the incense which was burnt on the golden altar. 



The Holy of Holies would seem to have been unlighted, except by the 
supernatural 'glory of the Lord,' which Jewish tradition said resided 







Side Chambers 


, .Table of 

' — 'Shew-bread 




Side Chambers j 


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c^ E. 
O • 

Q- BOAz 



Scale z. 



2 CuBiTS=3 Ft. 

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34 2 CHRON. V. 2-14; VI.; VIL 1-11 

2 CHRON. V. 2-U; YL ; VIL 1-11 

THEN Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all 
the heads of the tribes, ^ the chief of the fathers of 

the fathers . ^ , ^ . , . 

houses. the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up 

the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of 
David, which is Zion. 3. Wherefore all the men of Israel 
assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which 
ivas in the seventh month, 4. And all the elders of Israel 
came ; and the Levites took up the ark. 5. And they 
2 the tent of brought up the ark, and ^ the tabernacle of the congrega- 
2 Tent.° tion, and all the holy vessels that were in the ^ tabernacle, 

these did the priests and the Levites bring up. 6. Also 

V. 2. This passage is almost identical with the parallel in 1 Kings viii., 
but contains some additional details, and gives a different ending to 
Solomon's prayer. 

2. Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, etc. This is an in- 
teresting verse, showing that the dedication of the Temple was not 
only a royal and personal act, but a national one also. It also illus- 
trates a primitive and natural system of national representation. The 
' elders of Israel' were an institution of great antiquity (see Exod. iii. 16, 
and cf. the word 'Senate,' which literally means a council of old men). 
Each town and village seems to have had its governing body of elders, 
which in later times became important in connection with the synagogue 
worship. For the ' heads of the tribes,' cf. Num. vii. , and for the princes 
of the houses, Exod. vi. 14, etc. See also Josh. vii. 14. 

3. The seventh month, called in 1 Kings viii. Ethanim, but more 
usually Tisri — the feast l^eing the Feast of Tabernacles. 

5. The tabernacle of the congregation. This is an erroneous and mis- 
leading phrase, as has already been pointed out. The Revised Version 
gives the correct sense : the ' tabernacle ' was the tent where God and 
man might meet ; but no man save the priests ever actually entered it. Up 
to Solomon's time the Mosaic tabernacle had stood at Gibeon. Perhaps 
afterwards it was stored in one of the chambers of the Temple as a relic of 
the past. However, it is no more heard of, except in the curious legend 
preserved in 2 Mace, ii., that at the Captivity the prophet Jeremiah took 
both it and the ark away and hid them in a cave at the unknown place 
where Moses was buried. 

The priests and the Levites. There is no 'and' in the original. 
'Levite' may be used in the sense of (1) a member of the tribe of the 
Levi ; in this sense the priests are Levites ; (2) a ' Levite,' as distinguished 
from a priest, the priests belonging to the family of Aaron. Although 
the distinction between ' priests ' and Levites is clearly made in the Law 


king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were 
assembled unto him l)efore the ark, sacrificed sheep and 
oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude. 

7. And the priests l^rought in the ark of the covenant of 
the Lord unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into 
the most holy place, even under the wings of the chcrubims : 

8. For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the 
place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and 

the staves thereof above. 9. '^And they drew out the staves "• ^"<i the 

staves were so 

of the ark, that the ends of the staves were seen from the long that, etc. 

ark before the oracle ; but they were not seen without. 

And there it is unto this day. 10. There ivas nothing in 

the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at 

Horeb," when the Lord made a covenant with the children « Deut. x. 2, 5. 

of Moses, and was vindicated by the destruction of the rebellious Korah 
and his company, yet in days before the Exile it does not seem to have 
been always clearly maintained. The ' priests ' are sometimes spoken of 
as if they and the Levites were practically identical. But the whole 
question is too obscure to be settled. It is clearly best to assume that 
the Law of Moses sets the divinely appointed ideal, whatever variations 
from it may from time to time have been tolerated in God's patience. 
The apparent discrepancy between Kings and Chronicles in this place is 
probably due to the fact that the Levites carried the ark as far as the 
Temple, the 2yriesfs carried it to its resting-place in the Holy of Holies. 

9. And they drew out the staves of the ark, etc. See Eevised Version. 
The meaning of this verse is very obscure. It seems to mean that the 
ends of the staves could be seen in the Holy Place, but they could not be 
seen from the porch. Apparently, therefore, the ark was placed length- 
wise, with its longer sides parallel to the side-walls of the Temple. The 
words, ' and there it is unto this day,' point to the original documents from 
which Kings and Chronicles were compiled being older than the Captivity. 
The words were retained, with Jewisli conservatism, long after the original 
ark and the staves had ceased to be in the Holy of Holies. 

10. There was nothing' in the ark save the two tables which Moses put 
therein at Horeb. Heb. ix. 4 states that the ark also contained Aaron's 
rod that budded and the golden pot of manna. These were certainly 
laid up 'before the testimony ' (Exod. xvi. ; Num. xvii.), i.e. in the Holy 
of Holies. They may, during the journeyings, have been kept in the ark, 
but must, at some later date, have been removed. The symbolical mean- 
ings of the furniture and relics contained in the Holy of Holies are 
beautifully suggested by Venerable Bede (quoted by Cornelius a Lapide). 
' The Holy of Holies signifies heaven, or the Church triumphant ; there- 
fore it contained the ark of the covenant, i.e. the company of the blessed ; 
and the mercy-seat of gold, i.e. the glorified humanity of Christ : also 
the Cherubim, i.e. the holy angels, who form the exalted throne of God. 

even, etc. 

c 1 Chron. xv 

36 2 CHRON. V. 2-14; VI. ; VII. 1-11 

of Israel, when they came out of Egypt. 11. And it. came 

to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place : 

(for all the priests that ivere present were sanctified, and 

5 keep their did not ^ then wait by course. 12. Also the Levites ivhich 


b 1 Chron. xxv. loere * the singers, all of them ^ of Asaph, of Heman, of 
' Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed 
in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, 
stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hun- 
dred and twenty ''priests sounding with trumpets.) 13. It 
came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers ivere as 
one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thank- 
ing the Lord ; and when they lifted up their voice with 
the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and 
d Ps. cxxxvi. praised the Lord, saying, For he is good ; for ^his mercy 
e Exod. xi. 35. enclureth for ever, that theji ^ the house was filled with a 
cloud, even the house of the Lord ; 14. So that the priests 

. Again, in the Holy of Holies is the urn with the manna, because in 
heaven is the fulness of divine sweetness, satisfaction, and consolation. 
Lastly, there is the rod of Aaron, which, though dry, revived, and brought 
forth leaves, flowers, and fruit, because in the resurrection and the glory 
of heaven the body will rise again, and be reunited with the soul, and 
be glorified, and will bring forth the four endowments of swiftness, 
lightness, beauty and incorruption.' 

11. And did not then wait by course. See Revised Version. The courses 
of priests had already been arranged by David (1 Chron. xxiv.), but on 
this occasion all the priests took part in the function. 

12. Also the Levites which were the singers, etc. The music of the 
Temple services had also been organised by David (1 Chron. xxv.), and 
remained one of the striking features of the Jewish worship all through 
the Old Testament history. It has furnished the model also for Christian 
worship in this respect : not only the Psalter, but the white robes of our 
singers, are a direct inheritance from the older Church. 

The east end of the altar— i.e. they faced the Sanctuary, looking west, 
a position corresponding to turning ito the east in a Christian Church. 

13. For his mercy endureth for ever. These words seem to have been 
one of the traditional refrains or responses of the choral worship of the 
Temple. Cf. their frequent use in the Psalms. 

The house was filled with a cloud. This luminous cloud, which the 
later Jews called 'Shcchinah,' or the 'residence' of God, must be con- 
nected historically with the pillar of cloud and fire which accompanied 
the Israelites on their journeying. It filled the tabernacle at its 
consecration (Exod. xl. 34-38). The Jews believed that the Shechinah 
permanently resided in the Holy of Holies until the Captivity, but was 
not in the second Temple. Many legends gathered round the subject. 


could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud : for the 
glory of the Lord had filled the house of God. 

VL 1. Then said Solomon, ^The Lord hath said that he / Exod. xx. 21 ; 

' Lev. XVI. 2. 

would dwell in the thick darkness. 2. But I have built 
an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwell- 
ing for ever. 3. And the king turned his face, and blessed 
the whole congregation of Israel : and all the congregation 
of Israel stood. 4. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God 
of Israel, who hath with his hands fulfilled that which he 
spake with his mouth to my father David, saying, 5. Since 
the day that I brought forth my people out of the land 
of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to 

but it seems clear that a miraculous though temporary symbol of God's 
presence with His people was iu this way given. We should remember 
S. Paul's teaching, that the Christian dispensation (though it is not 
marked by these outward signs) is essentially far more glorious than the 
old Covenant (2 Cor. iii. 5-18 ; iv. 0). 

In this cloud of glory we may see a fitting type of the Incarnation. 
Just as the indwelling fire of the Divine presence illuminated and rendered 
bright the cloud which veiled it, so the Divine nature in our Lord per- 
vades His humanity, shining forth visibly even on earth for a moment 
at the Transfiguration. It is interesting to note the appearance of a 
' bright cloud,' causing fear to the disciples, on the mount of the Trans- 
figuration (S. Matt. xvii. 5). The Incarnation is a stumbling-block to 
the world, and can only be accepted by faith, which is God's gift ; so 
at the Red Sea passage the pillar of cloud produced opposite efiects : it 
caused darkness and confusion to the Egyptians, but light all through 
the night to the people of God (Exod. xiv. 19, 20). 

VI. 1. The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. 
This statement corresponds to the general meaning of several passages 
(see marginal references) rather than to anyone text. The 'darkness' 
is characteristic of the old Covenant. See Heb. xii., where it is con- 
trasted with the free approach to God which Christians enjoy. The 
darkness of Sinai and of the Holy of Holies of course continues in 
Solomon's Temple, but the fact of this ' cloud ' being now in a ' house of 
habitation ' seemed to Solomon to make the Divine presence with Israel 
more of an abiding certainty, 

3. The king turned his face, and blessed the whole congregation. This 
' blessing ' was of course no intrusion on the high priest's blessing, but as 
the king was the father of his people, it is strictly parallel to the blessing 
which parents naturally give to their children. Indeed, all through this 
action of Solomon in dedicating the Temple, we seem to have reminis- 
cences of the priestly functions originally belonging to the head of a 
family, and which the appointment of a special priesthood in the family 
of Aaron did not altogether abolish. But cf. 2 Chron. xxvi. , where 
Uzziah's action was quite on a different level from that of Solomon's, and 
was a clear breach of the Law of Moses. 

38 2 CHRON. V. 2-14; VI. ; VII. l-ll 

build an house in, tliat my name might be there ; neither 
chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel : 6. 
But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be 
f7 Ps. ixxviii. there; and ^have chosen David to be over my people 
h 2 Sam. vii. Israel. 7. Now ^it was in the heart of David my father 
to build an house for the name of the Lord God of Israel, 
8. But the Lord said to David my father, Forasmuch as 
it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou 
didst well in that it was in thine heart : 9. Notwithstand- 
ing thou shalt not build the house ; but thy son which 
shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house 
for my name. 10, The Lord therefore hath performed his 
word that he hath spoken : for I am risen up in the room 
of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel, as 
the Lord promised, and have built the house for the name 
of the Lord God of Israel. 11. And in it have I put the 
ark, wherein is the covenant of the Lord, that he made 
with the children of Israel. 12. And he stood before the 
altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of 
Israel, and spread forth his hands : 13. For Solomon had 
made a brasen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits 
broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst 
of the court : and upon it he stood, and kneeled down 
upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and 
spread forth his hands toward heaven. 14. And said, 
Lord God of Israel, there is no god like thee in the lieaven, 
i Dent. vii. 0. nor in the earth ; which ^ keepest covenant, and sheivest 
mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all 
their hearts : 15. Thou which hast kept with thy servant 
David my father that which thou hast promised him ; and 
spakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine 

12. And he stood before the altar . . . and spread forth his hands. 
This is one of the most ancient and universal attitudes of prayer ; 
perliaps an unconscious type of the Crucified. It is also the traditional 
position of the Christian priest as he celebrates the Holy Eucharist. 
Standing was the ancient position for praj'er on all Sundays, and 
throughout Piaster-tide. It will be seen from the next verse that Solomon 
first stood and afterwards kneeled. 


hand, as it is this day. 16. Now therefore, Lord God 

of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that 

which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail 

thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel ; 

''yet so that •'thy children take heed to their way to walk 7 if only. 

in my law, as thou hast walked before me. 17. Now then, ind cxxxiL^' 

Lord God of Israel, let thy word be verified, which thou 

hast spoken unto thy servant David. 18. But will God 

in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, '^'heaven ^cff"vir^49^ ' 

and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee ; how 

much less this house which I have built I 19. Have 

respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his 

supplication, Lord my God, to hearken unto the cry 

and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee : 

20. That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and 

night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou 

16. Keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast 
promised him. These words, which seem at first sight to be only a figure 
of speech, take a new meaning in the light of our Lord's words that 
' God is not the God of the dead but of the living.' David was still living, 
and had personal relations with God. His soul waited in Hades for the 
fulfilment of God's promises, not only that referred to by Solomon, 
but the greater blessings involved in 2 Sam. vii. 

18. But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth. The great 
paradox which Solomon hints at here is fulfilled, not in type (as in the 
Temple), but in very truth in the wonder of the Incarnation, and its 
result — the permanent union of God and man in the Catholic Church. 
Cf. the magnificent words of S. Leo (Bishop of Rome, 440-461) : ' The Son 
of God therefore enters these lower parts of the world, descending from 
His heavenly seat, and not leaving His Father's glory : being born after 
a new order, a new nativity. After a new order, because while invisible 
in His own nature, He became visible in ours, He Who is immeasurable 
willed to be confined in earthly habitations : He Who abides before all 
time, began in time to be ; the Lord of the universe took upon Him the 
form of a servant, veiling His incomprehensible majesty : the God who 
cannot suffer did not disdain to be a man subject to sufferings, and He 
Who is immortal submitted to the laws of death.' 

Solomon's Prayer. The divisions of this prayer should be noted : — 

(1) verses 14-17. The promises of God are commemorated. This 
corresponds to the opening part of the Prayer 
Book collects, which usually begin bj' some state- 
ment of Divine truth, as a ground of hope for the 


2 CHRON. V. 2-14: VI.: VII. 1-11 

wouldest put thy name there ; to hearken unto the prayer 
which thy servant prayeth toward this place. 21. Hearken 
therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy 
people Israel, which they shall make toward this place : 
hear thou from thy dwelling jDlace, even from heaven ; and 
when thou hearest, forgive. 22. If a man sin against his 
neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him 
swear, ^ and the oath come before thine altar in this house ; 
23. Then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy 
servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way 
upon his own head ; and by justifying the righteous, by 
giving him according to his righteousness. 24. And if thy 
people Israel be ^put to the worse before the enemy, 'because 
they have sinned against thee ; and shall return and 
confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before 
thee in this house ; 25. Then hear thou from the heavens, 
and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them 
again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their 
fathers. 26. When the heaven is shut up, and "'■there is no 
rain, because they have sinned against thee ; yet if they 

8 and he come 
and swear. 

9 smitten dowi 
I Josh. vii. ; 
1 Sam. vii. 

m 1 Kings xvii. 

(2) verses 18-21. May the Temple be the place of acceptable prayer. 

(3) ,, 22-23. May the oath taken there be binding before God. 

(4) ,, 24-25. May the prayer of the ra^igiu'sAec^ be heard. 

(5) ,, 26-27. May prayer for ram be heard. 

(6) ,, 28-31. May prayer vmder calamity, public or private, be 


(7) ,, 32-33. May prayer of non-Israelites be heard. 

(8) ,, 34-35. May the prayer of the it'arnor be heard. 

(9) ,, 36-39. May the prayer of the ea;^7e be heard. 

21. When thou hearest, forg-ive. Throughout this prayer should be 
noticed the conviction of human sin, of the universal need of God's 
forgiveness, of the impossibility of intercourse l)etween God and man 
except on the basis of forgiveness. These fundamental truths of religion 
it was the special function of Judaism to bring liome to the conscience of 
mankind, and so prepare for Christianity. 

22. And an oath be laid upon him to make him swear. This may refer 
either to such an oath as is referred to in Exod. xxii. 10, 11, where a 
question of right between man and man is to be settled by a solemn 
oath ; or to the further development of the same practice in Lev. v. 1 
(of. our Lord's answer to the high priest's adjuration, 8. Matt. xxvi. 63); 
or to such an 'ordeal' as Num. v. 11-31. 

26. When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain. Drought is a far 


pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn 

from their sin, when thou dost afflict them ; 27. Then hear 

thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and 

of thy people Israel, when thou ^^hast taught them the ^ teacliest. 

good way, wherein they should walk ; and send rain upon 

thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an 

inheritance, 28. If there be dearth in the land, if there be 

pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or cater- 

pillers ; if their enemies besiege them ^^ in the cities of their n in the land 

land ; whatsoever ^^ sore or whatsoever sickness there he : I'j piague. 

29. Then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be 

made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every 

one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall 

spread forth his hands in this house : 30. Then hear thou 

from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render 

unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart 

thou knowest ; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the 

children of men :) 31. That they may fear thee, to walk in 

thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest 

unto our fi^thers. 32. Moreover concerning the stranger, 

which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far 

more terrible evil in the East than we have any experience of in England. 
It means famine, pestilence and death. So it is often denounced as 
a Divine vengeance upon the disobedient (Deut. xi. 17 ; xxviii. 23 ; 
Zech. xiv. 17). See also the vivid propliecy of the future condition of 
Palestine (Deut. xxix. 22-28), which stands to-day literally fulfilled in 
the barrenness of the Holy Land, through the failure of rain and the 
Mohammedan occupation. 

32. Moreover concerning- tlie stranger. This is one of the remarkable 
passages in the Old Testament which look forward to the worship of the 
God of Israel becoming the religion of the whole world. This ideal was 
only fulfilled, of course, to a very limited extent uuder the old Covenant ; 
indeed, to the majority of Jews it was quite repugnant. Examples of the 
'stranger' coming to the Temple for religious purposes are seen in the 
Greeks (S. Johu xii. ) who desired 'to see Jesus,' and the Ethiopian 
eunuch in Acts viii. Both these examples point to the real fulfilment of 
Solomon's prophetic prayer in the Catholic Church of Christ. It should 
be noticed that Solomon anticipates two causes which will influence ' the 
stranger' to come and worship the God of Israel : (1) the inherent attrac- 
tiveness of the revelation of God for the human soul — 'for Thy great 
name's sake ' ; (2) the visible tokens of God's protection and i)reservation 
of Israel— 'Thy mighty hand and Thy stretched out arm.' Cf. Zech. 
viii. 22, 23. 

42 2 CHRON. V. 2-14 ; VI. ; VIT. 1-11 

country for tliy great name's sake, and thy mighty hand, 
i:5 when they and thy stretched out arm ; ^^ if they come and pray in this 
house ; 33. Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy 
dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger 
calleth to thee for ; that all people of the earth may know 
thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and 
may know that this house which I have built is called by 
thy name. 34. If thy people go out to war against their 
enemies by the way that thou shalt send them, and they 
pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, 
and the house which I have l)uilt for thy name ; 35. Then 
hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplica- 
tion, and maintain their cause. 36. If they sin against 
thee, (for there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou 
be angry with them, and deliver them over before their 
enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land 
far off or near ; 37. Yet if they bethink themselves in the 
land whither they are carried captive, and turn and pray 
unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying. We have 
14 perversely, sinned, we have done '^^ amiss, and have dealt wickedly ; 
38. If they return to thee with all their heart and with all 
their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have 
carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which 
thou gavest unto their fathers, and toward the city which 
thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I liave 
built for thy name : 39. Then hear thou from the heavens, 
even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their suppli- 

34. By the way that thou shalt send them. No Divine help is prayed 
for or expected in an unrighteous war. It must he a war which has been 
undertaken in ol)edience to (ilod's guidance. Cf. 1 Kings xxii. ; 2 Chron. 
XX. 35-37 ; and for a striking example of a fulfilment of Solomon's 
prayer cf. the discomfiture of Sennaclierib's army after the prayer of 
He/ekiah in tlie Temple (2 Kings xix.). 

35. And pray toward their land, etc, .So Daniel (vi. 10) prayed three 
times a day towards tlie Temple. It was doubtless in answer to sucli 
prayers as his that God suffered the Jews to return from their Captivity 
in Babylon. Kzckiel, the other prophet of the Captivity, has continually 
to warn his fellow-exiles against being 'rebellious.' Their need was 
repentance, instead of rebelling against the Divine judgment. 


cations, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people 

which have sinned against thee. 40. Now, my God, let, I 

beseech thee, thine eyes be open, and let thine ears he attent 

unto the prayer that is made in this place. 41. "Now n Ps. cxxxii. 

therefore arise, Lord God, into thy resting place, thou, 

and the ark of thy strength : let thy priests, Lord God, 

be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in 

goodness. 42. Lord God, turn not away the face of 

thine anointed : remember " the mercies of David thy o isa. Iv. 3. 


VIL 1. Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, 
the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt 
off'ering and the sacrifices ; and ^the glory of the Lord filled v Kzek. x. 3, 4. 
the house. 2. And the priests could not enter into the 
house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had 
filled the Lord's house. 3. And when all the children of 

41. Now therefore arise, LORD God. It should be noticed that the 
parallel account in 1 Kings viii. gives quite a different ending to this 
prayer ; one which, with the exception of the allusions to the deliverance 
from Egypt and the Law of Moses, is chiefly a repetition or summary of 
thoughts which have already occurred in the course of the prayer. The 
words in the text correspond with Ps. cxxxii. 8-10. This is one of the 
'proper Psalms' for Christmas Day; and the words, 'let Thy priests,' 
etc., have passed, in a slightly altered form, into the well-known versicle 
and response of the Church. 

42. LORD God, turn not away the face of thine anointed. This is 
a difficult expression. Literally it seems to mean, ' Do not reject the 
prayer of Thy anointed servant,' David, or Solomon, i.e. 'do not cause 
him to turn his face away in shame.' But in its Christian meaning 
' anointed ' evidently stands for Christ, and the word as used in Ps. cxxxii. 
10 would be a prayer ' in the name of Christ.' 

Remember the mercies of David thy servant. This may mean either 
the mercies promised to David by God (cf. Isa. Iv. 3), or the good deeds 
of David (R.Y. margin). 

VII. 1. The fire came down from heaven. As on the first sacrifice of 
Aaron (Lev. ix. 24), and on David's sacrifice on the threshing-floor of 
Oman (1 Chron. xxi. 26), and afterwards on the sacrifice of Elijah 
(1 Kings xviii.). This miraculous fire from heaven was a type of the 
descent of the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost, and His permanent 
dwelling in the Christian Church. Cf. the prayer, attributccl to S. 
Ambrose, before Holy Communion, 'Let there descend also, Lord, 
that invisible and incomprehensible majesty of Thy Holy Spirit, even as 
of old He descended upon the sacrifices of the fathers.' 

44 2 CHRON. V. 2-14; VI. ; VII. 1-11 

Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the 
Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their 
faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, 
1-5 gave thanks and ^'' praised the Lord, saying, For he is good ; « for his 
q Ps. cxxxvi. mercy endureth for ever. 4. Then the king and all the 
jjeople offered sacrifices before the Lord. 5. And king 
Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand 
oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep : so the 
king and all the people dedicated the house of God. 6. 

16 stood, accor- And the priests ^'Mvaited on their offices ; the Levites also 

ding to their 

offices. with instruments of musick of the Lord, which David the 

king had made to 2)raise the Lord, because his mercy 
endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry ; 
and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all 
Israel stood. 7. Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle 
of the court that was before the house of the Lord : for 
there he offered burnt offerings, and the fiit of the peace 
offerings, because the brasen altar which Solomon had made 

17 meal. was not able to receive the burnt offerings, and the ^^ meat 
^^ So. offerings, and the fat, 8. ^^ Also at the same time Solomon 

kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very 

great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto 

ly brook, the ^^ river of Egypt. 9. And in the eighth day the}^ made 

T), A sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and 
twenty thousand sheep. These numbers seem indeed enormous, yet 
they are the same both in Kings and Chronicles ; and it should be 
remembered that the largest part of these offerings ('peace-offerings,' 
1 Kings viii.) was not burnt, but eaten by the worshippers (Lev, iii. vii,). 
Consequently this ' sacrifice ' of Solomon's may be regarded as the royal 
banquet given for a whole fortnight to all the nuiltitudes who had 
assembled in Jerusalem. 

7. Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court. As the brazen 
altar was not large enough for this enormous sacrifice, the whole court of 
the I'emple was used, prol)al)]y by erecting temporary altars. 

The meat oflferings. This form of burnt-offering, elsewhere called 
the ' pure offering,' consisted of cakes of fine flour, Mith oil and incense. 
It is a type of the Holy Eucharist. See Mai. i. 1 1. 

8. From the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt. A pro- 
verbial expression, like 'from Dan to Beersheba,' meaning the whole 


a solemn assembly : for they kept tlie dedication of the 
altar seven days, and the feast seven days. 10. And on 
the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent 
the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart 
for the goodness that the Lord had shewed unto David, 
and to Solomon, and to Israel his people. 11. Thus 
Solomon finished the house of the Lord, and the king's 
house : and all that came into Solomon's heart to make in 
the house of the Lord, and in his own house, he prosper- 
ously efi'ected. 

land from extreme north to south. Hamath is a town of Syria on 
the Orontes ; and the 'river' or 'brook' of Egypt is not the Nile, 
but the boundary brook between Palestine and Egypt, now called the 

10. Their tents. A traditional expression derived from the original 
pastoral or nomad life of the nation, and continued when it was no 
longer applicable. .Since the wandering in the wilderness, of course, the 
Israelites had lived, not in tents, but in houses. Yet cf. such expressions 
as (1 Kings xii. 16), ' To your tents, Israel.' 


Public Worship 

Introduction. — This section will provide material for at least two 
lessons. It is most important that the teacher should treat the subject, 
not merely as a piece of history, but as illustrating the permanent prin- 
ciples of Avorship, and as directlj^ applicable to the Church which the 
children know. 

Matter. Method. 

1. The beauty of worship. 1. Describe the ritual of the dedi- 

Beauty is the gift of God, not the cation of the Temple, 
invention of man. That God desires What was the purpose of it all ? 
beauty in His service is shown by Not to please man, but God. 
the fact that He has revealed Him- How do we know that God loves 

self in nature as the God of beauty, beauty in our worship ? All that 

and as delighting in beauty. All He has told us — 
that is suggested to us by Scripture (1) in Nature, e.g. skies, flowers, 
as to the heavenly worship is also birds ; 

beautiful and dignified. Cf. Rev, (2) in the Bible (cf. S. John's 
iv. So in the Temple, not only is vision of Heaven) ; 

the place itself a work of highest suggests that our service of Him 


2 CHRON. V. 2-14; VI.; VII. 1-11 

Lesson V- 

art, but there is the beauty of 
order, of white vestments, of music 
and song. Cf. Ecclus. xlv. 

2. The gladness of worship. 
One great feature of all the de- 
scriptions of public worship in the 
Bible is its essential joyfulness. 
See 2 Chron. vii. 10. The Hebrew 
name for the Psalms is ' Praises,' 
and almost every psalm, however 
full of sorrow and struggle, has in 
it the note of gladness. 

Religion, especially in its public 
duties, is meant to be full of joy ; 
for the goodness of God should be 
the dominating idea. Puritanism 
and all merely individualistic re- 
ligion ignores this ; consequently 
human nature revolts, for man was 
made for joy. 

Materialism, luxury, covetous- 
ness, all that tends to centre a 
man's thought upon himself, take 
away the joyfulness of worship and 
render it distasteful, because its 
true meaning is lost. 

3. The awfulness of worship. 

At the dedication of Solomon's 
Temple God vouchsafed visible 
signs of His presence ; and so joy 
and delight in beauty were sanctified 
and solemnised. There is always 
a danger of our taking a merely 
human and teathetic pleasure in 
the arrangements of worship, unless 
our first thought is God's nearness. 

Although visible signs are not 
given in Christian worship, its 
glory is greater than that of the 
old Covenant. God is closer to 
us in the presence of Jesus Christ 
and in the indwelling Spirit. 

-continued. Public Worship 


should be as beautiful as we can 
make it. 

Illustrate by the worship of 
the Christian Church — vestments, 
music, etc. 

2. Point out the gladness of the 
worshippers, and the refrain of 
song, ' His mercy endureth for 

Ask : Why should xoe be glad in 
attending Church ? 

Illustrate by the joy we naturally 
feel in the presence of any one Avho 
is very good to us : the joy of giving 
thanks for good things given to us. 

Ask : Why do some children, and 
adults also, feel no joy in going to 
Church ? 

Tell the class the probable reason 
is that they are thinking of them- 
selves, and not of God ; of their own 
amusements or work, and not of 
God's goodness. 

(1) Ask what the cloud signified. 
What is the greater reality in the 
Christian Church? Christ's own 
presence in the Eucharist, and in 
every gathering of His people, and 
the presence of the Holy Spirit. 

(2) Ask what Solomoii and the 
people did at the sight of the cloud 
(vii. 3). 

Inculcate — 
Outward reverence in Church — 

kneeling, silence, guarded looks, 

quiet manner. 
Inward reverence — remembering 

God's presence all through the 




Blackboard Sketch. 


1. Our worship in Church should be hccmtijul. 

God loves beauty. 

2. Our worship should he, joyful. 

God is good to us always. 
God made us for happiness. 

3. Our worship should be reverent. 

God is very near to us. 

The Altar reminds us of this. 


Matter. Method. 

1. Public prayer. 1. Enumerate the different sorts 
Solomon's prayer was made on of prayer which Solomon speaks of. 

behalf of the whole congregation. ^^^^^ ^^ g^ ^^^^^ ^^... j ^0 ; Acts 

And m it he asks that the lemple .. ^ ' 

may be the place of prayer for ^^^' ' 

all, and especially for general and Illustrate by the intercessions in 

national needs, e.g. rain, deliver- the Church services : the Litauy, 

ance from calamity, victory over the prayers and thanksgivings for 

enemies. . special occasions. 

Similarly Christ has promised mu x i- n /-.i • j^- 

special blessings to united prayer. ^he type of all Christian prayer 

The Church is the means whereby is Our Father, 
a whole nation may approach God. 
It gives unity and common feeling 
and strength to a people. 

2. Private prayer. 2. Explain to children that in each 
In Solomon's prayer it is antici- part of the Church service — con- 

pated that besides common and fession, absolution, praise, prayer — 

public requests, each individual will we should apply what is said, in 

make privately in the Temple, and the name of all, directly to our- 


2 CHEON. V. 2-14 ; VI. ; VII. 1-11 

Part II — continued. Prayer 

in connection with the public wor- 
ship, his own special prayer, and 
will open his individual grief or 
desire to God (verses 29-38). In this 
way forms of common prayer may 
be appropriated by each individual. 
Particularly in the ofiering of the 
Holy Eucharist, the individual wor- 
shipper will, while taking part in 
the common service, present his own 
special prayer and thanksgiving. 

3. The assurance of prayer. 

Solomon in his prayer appeals 
to God's covenant and promises, 
especially to the mercies given to 
David. The cloud and fire were out- 
ward signs that this appeal was ac- 
cepted. So in the Christian Church 
the Incarnation (typified by cloud 
and fire) is the ground of prayer. 
We ask in the name of Christ. We 
expect the * sure mercies of David ' 
(Acts xiii. 34). Especially in the 
Eucharist we ask God to remember 
His Son, and to receive our petitions 
through Him. 


selves : this will give reality to our 

Show the value of attendance at 
the Holy Eucharist, not only for 
Communion, but for presenting our 
individual prayers and praises. 

Speak of the value of a place for 
prayer — churches are kept open for 
private prayer. 

3. Compare Solomon's appeal 
with the endings of our prayers : 
through the mediation of Christ. 
Christ is the antitype of David. 
We ask God to remember Him and 
His promises. 

Refer to S. John xvi. 23, 24, to 
the Prayer of S. Chrysostom, and 
perhaps to Rev. viii. 3, 4, where 
the incense represents the merits of 
Christ, in union with which the 
prayers of the saints are offered. 

Blackboard Sketch. 



Prayer is public by all, and for all. 
So we say Our Father. 


Prayer is also for ourselves. 

God knows and hears each 


in Church. 


Prayer is heard for Christ's sake. 

Learn — ' Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father 

in My name, He will give it y 



1 KINGS IX. 1-24; 2 CHEON. VIII. 12-16; 
1 KINGS IX. 26-28; 1 KINGS X. 

AND it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the 
_IjL building of the house of the Lord, and the king's 
house, and all Solomon's desire which he was 
pleased to do, 2. That the Lord appeared to Solomon 
the second time, as ^* he had appeared unto him at Gibeon. « chap. iii. 5. 
3. And the Lord said unto him, I have heard thy prayer 
and thy supplication, that thou hast- made before me : I 
have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my 
name there for ever ; and mine eyes and mine heart shall 
be there perpetually. 4. And if thou wilt walk before me, 
as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in 
uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded 
thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments : 

5. Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon 

Israel for ever, ^ as I promised to David thy father, saying, i, 2 Sam. vii. 
There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel. 

6. But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your 
children, and will not keep my commandments and my 
statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve 

other gods, and worship them: 7. Then '"will I cut off c 2 Kings xvii., 
Israel out of the land which I have given them, and this 

3. To put my name there for ever. See note on 1 Kings v. 5. God 
here promises that the Temple will be a permanent witness to His revela- 
tion of Himself, and a continual means whereby man may draw near to 
Him in worship. In its literal sense this promise came to an end with 
the destruction of tlie Temple ; but in its spiritual and more perfect 
meaning it is fulfilled in the antitype of the Temple — the Catholic 

Mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. A similar 
phrase is used of the land of Canaan in Deut. xi. 12. This poetical lan- 
guage implies, of course, a S2^erial governance of God, and a special affec- 
tion towards the land of the people He had chosen. God indeed governs 
and loves all men, but in all ages He has chosen some for special and 
peculiar care, not for their own sakes, but that the world might be blessed 
through them. Cf. S. John xvii. 9, and 18-21. 

7. Then will I cut oflF Israel out of the land which I have given them.. 

HEH. MON. : VOL. 11. '> 

50 1 KINGS IX. 1-24 

d Jer. vii. 14. liouse, which I have hallowed for my name, ^ will I cast out 
f J)eut. xxviii. of my sight : and Israel shall be ^a proverb and a byword 
among all people : 8. And at this house, which is high, 
every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall 
hiss ; and they shall say. Why hath the Lord done thus 
unto this land, and to this house ? 9. And they shall 
answer, Because they forsook the Lord their God, who 
brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and 
have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped 
them, and served them : therefore hath the Lord brought 
upon them all this evil. 10. And it came to pass at the 
end of twenty years, when Solomon had built the two 
houses, the house of the Lord, and the king's house, 
11. {Now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon 
with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold, according to 
all his desire,) that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty 
cities in the land of Galilee. 12. And Hiram came out 
from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him ; 
and they pleased him not. 13. And he said. What cities 
are these which thou hast given me, my brother ? And he 
/ Josh. xix. 27. called them the land of -^Cabul unto this day. 14. And 
Hiram sent to the king sixscore talents of gold. 15. And 

It is hardly necessary to point out how circumstantially these prophecies 
have been fulfilled. The Jews are scattered in all lands, frequently 
persecuted and hated ; their land is barren and desolate, crushed beneath 
the Mohammedan occupation ; the sacred site of the Temple is occupied 
by a mosque ; all that is left of the Temple to the Jew is the ' Wailing 
Place,' where Friday by Friday the Jews lament the ruin of their place 
and nation. 

The first Captivity was due to their worshipping 'other gods' in the 
literal sense ; the second, and longer one, to their worship of self. They 
set up their own pride and ambitions against the truth of C;!od as revealed 
in Jesus Christ. Cf. S. John v. 44. 

13. And tie called them the land of Cahul unto this day. Nothing fur- 
ther is known alxmt this curious incident except tliat it appears from 
2 Chron. viii. 2 that Hiram gave these cities l)ack to Solomon. I'heir 
locality is unknown, except that the}- were probably on the extreme 
north of Galilee, and close to Hiram's territory. The etjunology of the 
name is uncertain ; most proljably it means ' wortliless. ' Tliere was a 
city in Zelnilon that anciently bore the same name (Josh. xix. 27). 

14. Sixscore talents of gold. This is apparently the gold already men- 
tioned in ver. 11. It was the gold required for the decoration of the 


this is the reason of ^ the levy which king Solomon raised ; o chap. v. is. 
for to build the house of the Lord, and his own house, and 
Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, 
and Gezer. 16. For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, 
and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the 
Canaanites that dwelt in tlie city, and given it for a 
present unto his daughter, Solomon's wife. 17. And 
Solomon built Gezer, and Bethhoron the nether, 18. And 
Baalath, and ^ Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land, i Tamar. 
19. And all 'Hhe cities of store that Solomon had, and /t Exod. i. ii. 
cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, and that 
which Solomon desired ^ to build in Jerusalem, and in '2 to build for 
Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. 20. And ^''' P^^^-'"^"^- 

Temple. Sixty talents is a very large amount. The lowest estimate of 
its value is £720,000. 

15. Millo— lit. ' the Millo ' ; apparently the name of some fortress in 
Jerusalem, existing before David took it from the Jebusites. See 2 Sam. 
V. 9. 

Hazor, The ancient stronghold of King Jabin (Judges iv.). No doubt 
it was re -fortified by Solomon as a guard against invasions from the 

Megiddo. The place of the overthrow of Sisera (Judges iv.), a strong- 
hold which commanded the plain of Esdraelon, the great battlefield of 
Palestine, and the road from Egypt to Syria and the East (see 2 Kings 
xxiii. 29). See supplementary note in vol. i. p. 168. 

Gezer. Perhaps the Gezer mentioned in Josh, x, 33 ; but the place and 
its conquest by Pharaoh are wrapped in obscurity. The ' present ' spoken 
of in ver. 16 would be of the nature of a dowry to Pharaoh's daughter 
when she became Solomon's queen. There was another Gezer in Ephraim 
(Josh. xvi. 3). 

17. Bethlioron. The scene of Joshua's victory (Josh, x.), and in after- 
time of that of Judas Maccaba?us (1 Mace, ill.) in 166 B.C. This strong- 
hold would be a protection against invasion from Philistia. 

18. Baalath (Josh. xix. 44). Probably also intended as a protection 
against the Philistines. 

Tadmor in the wilderness. Tamar is the reading of the Hebrew text 
(see R.V.), and Avas probably only changed to Tadmor in consequence of 
2 Chron. viii. 4. Tamar was probably in the south of Palestine (Ezek. 
xlvii. 19, and xlviii. 28). Tadmor, on the other hand, is the ancient 
name of the famous city of Palmyra in Syria. See Gibbon, Decline and 
Fall, chai^. xi, 

19. Lebanon. It is suggested b}' the Camhridge Bible that Solomon 
may have built here among the mountains some summer residence, as the 

52 2 CHRON. VIII. 12-16 

all the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, 
Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which were not of the 
children of Israel, 21. Their children that were left after 
them in the land, whom the children of Israel also were 
i Josh. XV. 03, not able ^ utterly to destroy, upon those did Solomon ^ levy 
3 raise^a levy of a tribute of bondservice unto this day. 22. But of the 
j Tev.Txv" 3^9. children of Israel did Solomon make ^ no bondmen : but 
they ivere men of war, and his servants, and his princes, 
k 1 «ani. viii. and his captains, and ^ rulers of his chariots, and his horse- 
men. 23. These were the chief of the officers that were 
over Solomon's work, five hundred and fifty, which bare 
rule over the people that wrought in the work. 24. But 
Pharaoh's daughter came up out of the city of David unto 
her house which Solomon had built for her : then did he 
build Millo. 

2 CHRON. VIII. 12. Then Solomon ofi'ered burnt ofler- 
ings unto the Lord on the altar of the Lord, which he 
* even as the had built before the porch. 13. ^ Even after a certain rate 
daJ^requS every day, offering ^according to the commandment of 
Xum°*^xx^ui\' ' Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on 
^Tl^■ 4.r i. ^the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the 

•> the set feasts. ' '' ' 

m Bxod. xxiii. m fg^^g^^ gf unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and 

14 ; Deut. xvi. ' 

16. in the feast of tabernacles. 14. And he appointed, ac- 

cording to the order of David his Either, the courses of the 
priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to 
praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every 
day required : the porters also by their courses at every 
?!, 1 Cluon. gate: for "so had David the man of God commanded, 
XXIV., xx\. ^^^ j^^^ ^^^^^ dej)arted not from the commandment of the 
king unto the priests and Levites concerning any matter, 
or concerning the treasures. IG. Now all the work of 
Solomon was prepared unto the diiy of the foundation of 
the house of the Lord, and until it was finished. So the 
house of the Lord was perfected. 

language of the Song of Solomon is full of allusions to the beauty and 
refreshing character of this district. 


1 KINGS IX. 26. And king Solomon made a navy of 
ships in " Ezion-geber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore o Num. xxxiii. 
of the Red sea, in the land of Edom. 27. And Hiram sent 
in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of 
the sea, with the servants of Solomon. 28. And they 
came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred 
and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon. 

X. 1. And when ^the queen of Sheba heard of the 2' 2 Chron. ix. ; 

^ S. Matt. xii. 42; 

fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, s. Luke xi. 3i. 

she came to prove him with hard questions. 2. And she 

came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels 

that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones : 

and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with 

him of all that was in her heart. 3. And Solomon told 

her all her questions : there was not any thing hid from 

1 Kings ix. 26. And king- Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion-getier. 

This short account of Israel becoming a sea-power is extremely interesting, 
especially as 2 Chron. viii. sliows that not only the sailors were Phce- 
nicians, but the ships themselves were the work of Phoenicians. The 
latter were the greatest sailors of antiquity, probabl}' the first to circum- 
navigate Africa (Herodotus, iv. 42). Ezion-geber and Eloth (or Elath) 
are at the head of the Gulf of Akaba. See supplementary note, p. 59. 

28. Ophir. The locality of Ophir, like that of Tharshish, is one of the 
puzzles of ancient geography. Both India, Arabia, and Africa have been 
suggested. Josephus says it was in India. Recent exploration has again 
suggested Africa as the place, for most remarkable evidence of early 
mining has been found in Rhodesia. On the other hand. Gen. x. 28, 29 
seems to point to Arabia, as Sheba is almost certainl}'- in that country. 

X. 1. The queen of Sheha, called in the Gospels 'Queen of the South,' 
was doubtless from Southern Arabia, though legend has made her Queeu 
of Ethiopia, and the present Emperor of Abyssinia professes to trace his 
descent from a marriage between this queen and Solomon. 

The fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD. This does not 
mean, of course, what the later Jews fabled, that the knowledge of the 
inefifable name of Jehovah enabled Solomon to command demons and 
work all manner of wonders. Rather, it must mean that Solomon's fame 
was intimately connected with the revelation of Jehovah to Israel. His 
throne was established by Jehovah, and his greatest work, the Temple, 
was *for the name of the Lord.' 

To prove him with hard questions. What these questions were we 
have no means of knowing. They may have been religious problems (see 
ver. 2) ; more probably they were riddles and puzzles such as the peoples 
of antiquity, especially the Orientals, delighted in. One example of such 
riddles is given in the Bible (Judges xiv. 12). 

54 1 KINGS X. 

the king, which he told her not. 4. And when the queen 
of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house 
that he had built, 5. And the meat of his table, and the 
sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, 
and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by 
which he went up unto the house of the Lord ; there was 
no more spirit in her. 6. And she said to the king, It 
was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy 
acts and of thy wisdom. 7. Howbeit I believed not the 
words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it : and, 
behold, the half was not told me : thy wisdom and pros- 
perity exceedeth the fame which I heard. 8. Happy are 
thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand con- 
tinually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. 9. Blessed 
be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee 
on the throne of Israel : because the Lord loved Israel for 
ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and 
justice. 10. And she gave the king an hundred and 
twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and 
precious stones : there came no more such al3undance of 
spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king 
Solomon. 11. And the navy also of Hiram, that brought 
gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir great plenty of 
almug trees, and precious stones. 12. And the king made 
of the alnuig trees pillars for the house of the Lord, and 
for the king's house, harps also and psalteries for singers : 
there came no such almug trees, nor were seen unto this 
day. 13. And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba 

5. His ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD. The 

margin of Revised Version has 'his burnt oflfering which he offered in 
the house of the Lord,' which is the actual reading of the Hebrew ; but 
a very slight alteration would turn the word ' burnt offering ' into 
'ascent,' which is actually found in 1 Chron. xxvi. 16. Probably 
'ascent' is right, though we have no means of knowing what the stair- 
case or passage was which is thus alluded to. 

12. Almug trees. Called also in Chronicles algum trees. The meaning 
is uncertain, though sandal -wood seems the most likely suggestion. The 
' pillars ' spoken of are called in 2 Chron. ix. 'terraces.' Perhaps they 
were railings or balustrades. 


all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which 

Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and 

went to her own country, she and her servants. 14. Now 

the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 

six hundred threescore and six talents of gold, 15. Beside 

that he had of the ^ merchantmen, and of the traffick of the ^ chapmen. 

" spice merchants, and of all the ^ kings of Arabia, and of " omit spice. 

8 kings of the 
the governors of the country. 16, And king Solomon mingled people 

made two hundred targets of beaten gold : six hundred 

shekels of gold went to one target. 17. And he made three 

hundred shields of beaten gold ; three pound of gold went 

to one shield : and the king put them in ^ the house of the i <^^^P- ^^"^'- ^'^• 

forest of Lebanon. 18. Moreover the king made a great 

throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold, 19. The 

throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round 

behind : and there were stays on either side on the place of 

the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays. 20. And 

twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other 

upon the six steps : there was not the like made in any 

kingdom, 21. And all king Solomon's drinking vessels 

ivere of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest 

of Lebanon ^cere of pure gold ; none ivere of silver : it was 

nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon, 22, For 

the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of 

Hiram : once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, 

15. The merchantmen. The original Hebrew here signifies itinerant 
traders, ' chapmen,' such as are commonly found in the East, traffickers 
who carry their goods about with them. 

18, A great throne of ivory, i.e. inlaid or covered with ivory, like the 
'ivory house' of Ahab (xxii, 39). Perhaps there is a typical con- 
nection between this throne and the ' great white throne ' of judgment 
(Rev. XX. 11). The gold would not, of course, cover the ivory, but 
formed decorations upon it. The ancients were fond of this combination 
of ivory and gold. The most famous statues made by Phidias were Ivor}' 
and gold, called by the Greeks 'chryselephantine.' 

19. The top of the throne was round behind. The 'top' means a 
canopy over the throne. 

22. A navy of Tharshish. It is uncertain, both where Tharsliish was 
(most probably Tartessus, in Spain), and whether the fleet was so called 



bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. 
23. So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth 
for riches and for wisdom. 24. And all the earth sought 
the presence 9 to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in 
his heart. 25. And they brought every man his present, 
vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and 
armour, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. 
26. And Solomon gathered together chariots and horse- 
men : and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, 


and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the 
cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem. 27. And 
the king made silver to he in Jerusalem as stones, and 
cedars made he to he as the sycomore trees that are in 

10 lowland. the ^^vale for abundance. 28. And Solomon had horses 

11 omit 'and brought out of Egypt, i^and linen yarn: the king's merchants 

linen yarn' ; • i i t • i i i • 

the king's nier- received the linen yarn at a price. 29. And a chariot 
them in droves, came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of 
a^price!°^^ ^'^ silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty : and so for 
r 2Kingsvii. 6. all '"the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, 
did they bring them out by their means. 

because it traded with Tharshish, or because it consisted of a kind of 
ships called 'ships of Tharshish,' as in Isa. ii. 16, like our use of 'East 

27. The sycomore trees that are in the vale. ' The vale ' is the Sheph- 
elah, or lowland, between the mountains of Central Palestine and the 
coast (see G. Adam Smith, Historkal Geography of the Holy Land, chap. 
X. ), This district was full of sycamore trees, whose fruit was valuable 
(see 1 Chron. xxvii. 28). The prophet Amos was a dresser of sycamore 
trees (Amos vii. 14). 

28. Linen yarn. This, as will be seen from the Revised Version, is a 
mistranslation. The Avord really refers to the 'strings' or droves of 
horses brought uj) l)y merchants from Egypt. Another rendering makes 
it the name of a place — Tekoa (LXX), Coa (Vulgate). 

29. By their means, i.e. Solomon's merchants conducted tlie entire 
trade in horses between Egypt and the northern kingdoms of Hittites 
and Syrians. 



The Queen of Slieba 

Introduction. — This lesson may be made an opportunity of interesting 
children in the missionary work of the Church. This is of great import- 
ance ; such teaching may easily be brought into connection with 
geography, and adds that human interest which alone can make geography 
live, while at the same time it leads children to a wider and deeper idea 
of the Church. Side by side with the imperial ideal in secular mattei's 
should be taught the true imperialism of the Catholic Church. 


1. Solomon is a type of Christ. 
His empire was founded, not merely 
upon conquest or commerce, but 
ujjon God's promises. It was in- 
tended by God to suggest to the 
Jews, and to other nations through 
them, the kingdom of Heaven, and 
the true King of humanity, who in 
the fulness of time would appear, 
whose rule would be founded on 
truth and righteousness, in Whom 
all men would find their ruler and 
ideal, and into Whose service the 
kings of the earth would bring 
their glorj^ and honour (Rev. xxi. 

So both the Psalms which refer 
to Solomon (xlv. and Ixxii.) evi- 
dently point beyond Solomon to the 
perfect ruler, and the universal and 
eternal kingdom of righteousness 
and peace. 

2. The Queen of Sheba is a t}'pe 
of the Gentile world. Then, as 
now, the heathen nations had a 
desire after God. It was not so 
much the wealth and splendour of 
Solomon that attracted the Queen, 
but his initidom, which w^as especially 
<Tod's gift, and was a witness to 
God (see also 1 Kings x. 5). 

So at this time, especiall}^ we 
should remember that Christ is ' the 
King of the Gentiles and their 
Desire.' Many of tlie ancient 


1. S. Luke i. 32, 33 ; Rev. xix. 

Explain on the basis of these two 
passages that our Lord Jesus Christ 
is King, all nations belong to Him, 
though many of them do not know 
it ; all wealth in the world is His. 
He sees all, hears the prayers of all, 
and will hereafter judge all. 

Show that we read in the Bible 
about Solomon, not merely because 
he was a great king — M^e might read 
that in our ordinary histories — but 
because he reminds us in these waj^s 
of Christ. 

Enforce the lesson in the case of 
the individual. / belong to Him ; 
/ ought to obey Him ; my money 
and all that I have really belongs to 

2. Describe the Queen's visit, and 
its purpose. 

Refer to S. Matt. xii. 42. 

Illustrate by tlie Visit of the 
Magi (S. Matt, ii.), and the desire 
of the Greeks to see Jesus (S. John 

Tell the children that there are 
many now of the greatest and wisest 
of the heathen who are eager to be 
taught about Christ, and to enter 
His kingdom. 

Contrast their desire with the 



Lesson VI — continued. 


nations of the East are throwing off 
their old beliefs [e.g. Japan), and 
are seeking for a better wisdom, 
craving for the light of Christ. 

3. The gifts of the Queen to 
Solomon, and of Solomon to her, 
are also typical and prophetic. 
The heathen have all their own 
special contribution to make to the 
glory of Christ's kingdom : national 
character, learning, skill, power of 
grasping some parts of the Truth in 
a fuller way than has been done 
before. It has been said that the 
Gospel of S. John will never be 
fully understood until India is con- 

On the other side, the 'royal 
bounty of Christ' will give to the 
heathen nations that, in each case, 
which they need to supply their 
deficiencies, and to perfect their 
national greatness. 

The Queen of Sheba 


indifference of so many who have 
been brought up as Christians. 

3. Describe the interchange of 

Refer to the gifts of the Magi. 

Describe how our English fore- 
fathers gave their best to Christ, 
e.g. cathedrals and beautiful 
churches ; their money and their 

In turn, how much did they re- 
ceive from Him ? A united nation 
(the Church made the English 
nation); civilisation; liberty. 

Point out also how much the 
heathen of recent times have been 
given by him. Cruel cannibal tribes 
have become peaceful, kind, and 

Suggest hopes for the future of 

' Happy are thy men, happy are 
tliese thy servants.' 

Cf. Ps. cxliv. 15. 

See Dean Church's lectures on 
' Some Influences of Christianity 
upon National Character. ' 

Blackboard Sketch. 

Solomon, son of David, a type of Christ. 

The Queen oj Sheba, a type of the heathen who 
desire to hear the true wisdom. 

Gifts. —Ours to Christ : the very best we have. 
Christ's to us : 'all our desire,' true happiness. 



(From Stanley's Sinai and Palestine, pp. 83, 84.) 

' The sea on which we descended is the Gulf of Elath and Ezion-Geber ; 
up and down which the fleets of Solomon brought the gold of Ophir ; the 
great channel of commerce till it was diverted hy Alexandria to the Gulf 
of Suez. The two gulfs seem, like Castor and Pollux, to have risen and 
set alternately. Now there is not a single boat upon it from end to end. 
Once a year, and once only, boats come round from Suez to 'Akaba with 
provisions for the Mecca pilgrims ; at all other times it is as desolate as 
the wilderness. But what a sea ! and M'hat a shore ! 

* From the dim silvery mountains on the further Arabian coast, over the 
blue waters of tlie sea, meltiug into colourless clearness as they roll up 
the shelly beach, — that beach red with the red sand, or red granite gravel, 
that pours down from the cliffs above, — those cliffs sometimes deep red, 
sometimes yellow and purple, and above them all the blue, cloudless sky 
of Arabia. . . . 'Akaba is a wretched village, shrouded in a palm-grove 
at the north end of the gulf, gathered round a fortress built for the pro- 
tection of the Mecca pilgrimage. . . . This is the whole object of the 
present existence of 'Akaba, which stands on the site of the ancient 
Elath — 'the Palm-trees,' so called from the grove. ^ Its situation, how- 
ever, is very striking, looking down the beautiful gulf, with its jagged 
ranges on each side : on the west is the great black pass down which the 
pilgrimage descends, and from which 'Akaba ('the Pass') derives its 
name ; on the noi^th opens the wide plain, or Desert Valley, wholly 
dififerent in character from anything we have seen, still called, as it Avas 
in days of Moses, ' the 'Arabah.' Down this came the Isi-aelites on their 
return from Kadesh, and through a gap in the eastern hills they finally 
turned off to Moab. On this view the}^ undoubtedly looked. It was a 
new Red Sea for them, and they little knew the glory which it would 
acquire when it became the channel of all the wealth of Solomon.' 

1 There is nothing to fix the precise site of Ezion-Geber, the ' Giant's Backbone.' 

60 1 KINGS XL ; 2 CHRON. IX. 29 

1 KINGS XL; 2 CHRON. IX. 29 

a Neh. xiii. 2r.. T)UT "king Solouion loved many strange women, to- 
J3 gether with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of 
the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and 
Hittites ; 2. Of the nations concerning which the Lord 
said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go Un to 
1 anion". them, neither shall they come ^ in unto you : for surely 

b Exod. xxxi\-. they will ^ turn away your heart after their gods : Solomon 
3,4. ^^■^"" clave unto these in love. 3. And he had seven hundred 
wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines : and his 
wives turned away his heart. 4. For it came to pass, when 
Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart 
after other gods : and his heart was not perfect with the 
Lord his God, as luas the heart of David his father. 5. 
For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the 
Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Am- 
monites. 6. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the 

1. But king Solomon loved many strange women. Polygamy, though 
contrary to the primeval ordinance of God, was tolerated among the 
Jews. The Law of Moses did not forbid it, but merely safeguarded the 
rights of a former wife (Exod. xxi. 10). Solomon, like other Oriental 
kings, had a harem, though the majority of the women comprising it 
were not really wives, but simply members of the royal household. 
Solomon's purpose in collecting this vast number of foreign princesses 
was of course a political one : to ensure the alliance of the nations to 
which they belonged. But it was not only an offence against the Law of 
Moses to intermarry with foreigners, but showed a spirit alien to that 
of the divinely established kingdom of God. Solomon wished to be as 
the other nations and kings of his time. This desire caused the sin of 
the people originally in asking for a kiog at all (1 Sam. viii. 20). Even 
David himself had not been free from this failing. The mother of 
Absalom was a princess of Geshur (2 Sam. iii. 8). But David never 
swerved from his own loyalty to the worship of the (iod of Israel (verses 
4, 6 below). Solomon did not cease to worship Jehovah, but he added to 
that the worship of the heathen gods as well. 

5. Ashtoretli. The Ph(enic-ian Venus, or chief female deity, as Baal 
was the chief male. jNIore properly her name was Ashtart, or Astartt^. 
She was connected with the Assyrian goddess Ishtar. See Hastings's 
Dictionary of the Bible. 

Milcom tlie abomination of the Ammonites. A]>parently the same 
divinity as Molcch in verse 7, also spelt Moloch, the different forms of 


Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David 
his father. 7. Then did Solomon build an high place for 
Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in '^the hill that -js c 2 Kings xxiii. 


before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the 
children of Amnion. 8, And likewise did he for all his 
strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto 
their gods. 9. And the Lord was angry with Solomon, 
because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, 
which ^had appeared unto him twice, 10. And had com- d chaps, iii. 5; 

ix. 2. 

manded him concerning this thing, that he should not go " ' ' 
after other gods : but he kept not that which the Lord 
commanded. 11. Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon, 
Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept 
my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded 
thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will 
give it to thy servant. 12. Notwithstanding in thy days 
I will not do it for David thy father's sake : but I will 

the word all being derived from the word for ' king ' {melech in Hebrew). 
His worship was widely spread, and was connected with human sacrifices. 
He was the god of fire, and children were apparently sacrificed to him as 
biirnt-ofi'erings, as frequently mentioned in the Old Testament. 

7. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh. The 'high 
places' (Bamoth) for religious worship are very frequently alluded to in 
the Old Testament. The worship of a divinity on a mountain peak is 
a deeply-rooted feature in early religions (see the description of the 
sacrifice of Balaam and Balak in Num. xxii.-xxiv. ; cf. also Ezek. xx. 
27-29). Solomon built an altar, or perhaps a temple, for Chemosh on the 
Mount of Olives. Little is known of this divinit}^ except that he is 
mentioned by Mesha, King of Moab, in the inscription on the famous 
' Moabite Stone' (890 B.C.), now in the Louvre at Paris. According to 
Judges xi. 24, Chemosh was also the divinity of the Ammonites. Milton 
identifies him with Baal-Peor :— 

' Next Cliemos, the obscene dread of Moab's sons, 
From Aroar to Nebo and the Avild 
Of southmost Abarim : . . . 
Peor liis other name, when he enticed 
Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile 
To do him wanton rites which cost them woo. 
Yet thence his lustful orgies he enlarged 
Even to that hill of scandal, by the grove 
Of Moloch homicide, lust hard by hate, 
Till good Josiah drove them back to Hell.' 

Paradise Lost, 1. 400), etc. 

12. for David thy father's sake. These words are instructive, as show- 
ing, in accordance with the second commandment, that not only are 
children involved in the sins of their parents, but also that mercy is 

62 1 KINGS XL ; 2 CHRON. IX. 29 

rend it out of the baud of thy son. 13. Howbeit 1 will 
e Ps. ixxxix. 33. ^not rend away all tlie kingdom ; hut will give one tribe to 
thy son for David my servant's sake, and for Jerusalem's 
sake which I have chosen. 14. And the Lord stirred up 
an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite : he was 
of the king's seed in Edom. 15. For it came to pass, when 
/2Sam. viii. 14. David was -^in Edom, and Joab the captain of the host was 
gone up to bury the slain, after he had smitten every male 
in Edom ; 16. (For six months did Joab remain there 
with all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom :) 
17. That Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his 
father's servants with him, to go into Egypt ; Hadad being 
yet a little child. 18. And they arose out of Midian, and 
came to Paran : and they took men with them out of 
Paran, and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of 
Egypt ; which gave him an house, and appointed him 
victuals, and gave him land. 19. And Hadad found great 

shown to the descendants of the righteous for his sake. ' The gifts and 
calling of God are without repentance' (Rom. xi. 29). Although God's 
promises are always conditional, yet a revealed promise never really 
comes to an end. It may be altered in character, as the promises to the 
Jewish Church were expanded and spiritualised in the Catholic Church ; 
but the promise in itself reveals a law of God's operation : it is the 
expression of God's character and will, and cannot be abrogated. 

14. Hadad the Edomite. We are not told in what way Hadad showed 
his hostility to Solomon. But the fact that his first adversary was an 
Edomite is interesting, as Edom, the descendants of Esau, were the 
hereditary enemies of Israel, following out the prophecy of Isaac (Gen. 
xxvii. 39, 40). The conquests of David over Edom are only briefly 
alluded to in 2 Sam. viii. 13, 14, and 1 Chron. xviii. 12, 13. Joab's 
smiting ' every male ' can hardly be understood literally. It must simply 
mean the warriors, or those who were actuall}^ in rebellion. 

This brief fragment of the history of Hadad is very suggestive. His 
must liave been a romantic career : the escape from the invading army ; 
the new home in Egypt ; the court favourite giving up his life of splen- 
dour and comfort to return to his own country — these are only glimpses 
of what must have been a fascinating story. But here, as elsewhere. 
Holy Scripture subordinates everything to the main purpose of the histor5\ 
It is not a mere record of ancient times, but the history of the kingdom 
of God. 

18. And they arose out of Midian. Midian is a name somewhat widely 
used, but it is difficult to understand it at all in this connection. It has 
been suggested that the word should be Maon, which was near the wilder- 
ness of Paran (1 Sam. xxv. 2). 


favour in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him to 

wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the 

queen. 20. And the sister of Tahj)enes bare him Genubath 

his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house : and 

G-enubath was in Pharaoh's household among the sons of 

Pharaoh. 21. And when Hadad heard in Egypt that 

David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain 

of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me 

depart, that I may go to mine own country. 22. Then 

Pharaoh said unto him, But what hast thou lacked with 

me, that, behold, thou seekest to go to thine own country 1 

And he answered. Nothing : howbeit let me go in any 

wise. 23. And God stirred him up another adversary, 

Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hada- 

dezer king of Zobah : 24. And he gathered men unto 

him, and became captain over a band, when David slew 

them of ^Zobah : and they went to Damascus, and dwelt g 2 Sam. viii. 3. 

therein, and reigned in Damascus. 25. And he was an 

adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the 

mischief that Hadad did : and he abhorred Israel, and 

reigned over Syria. 26. And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, 

an ^Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's servant, whose mother's 2 Ephraiiuite. 

name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his 

hand against the king. 27. And this ivas the cause that 

he lifted up his hand against the king : Solomon built 

Millo, and repaired the l)reaches of the city of David his 

20. Whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house. The weaning of a 
child was made the occasion of a feast (Gen. xxi. 8). The queen-mother 
would take a prominent part in such a festivity. Or does it mean that 
Genubath's mother was dead, and Tahpenes adopted him ? 

23. Zobah, mentioned in 2 Sam. viii. as one of the conquests of David, 
is a little-known kingdom. It lay to the north of Palestine and Damascus, 
between the Orontes and the Euphrates. It was impossible, evidently, 
to retain David's conquests in Syria, and the fugitive Rezon succeeded in 
establishing a dynasty in Damascus ; after which time the Syrians appear 
as the most dangerous enemies of Israel on the north, until their power 
fell before the advance of Assyria. 

26. An Ephrathite. The correction of the Revised Version is important. 
The tribe of Ephraim was always the most prominent in opposition to 

04 1 KINGS XL ; 2 CHRON. IX. 20 

father. 28. And the man Jeroboam ivas a mighty man of 
valour : and Solomon seeing the young man that he was 

;i labour. indiisti'ious, he made him ruler over all the ^ charge of the 

house of Joseph. 29. And it came to pass at that time 
when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet 

4 Ahijali. Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way ; and '^he had 

clad himself with a new garment ; and they two luere alone 
in the field : 30. And Ahijah caught the new garment 
that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces : 31. And 
he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces : for thus saith 
the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the king- 
dom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes 
to thee : 32. (But he shall have one tribe for my servant 
David's sake, and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I 
have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel :) 33. Because 
that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ash- 
toreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of 
the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of 
Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that 
which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and 
my judgments, as did David his father. 34. Howbeit I 

28. He made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph. 
Jeroboam was made overseer over the compulsory labour rendered by the 
tribe of Epliraim in Solomon's building operations. This would enable 
him to sympathise M'ith, or at any rate play upon, the resentment felt by 
the Israelites at the ' heavy burden and grievous yoke' of Solomon. 

29. Ahijah the Shilonite. This prophet was a native of Shiloh. lie 
appears again in connection with Jeroboam (chap. xiv. ), but there to 
reprove him for his own faithlessness to God. His writings are men- 
tioned (see below) as one of the authorities used by the compiler of 
Chronicles for the histor}' of Solomon. 

He had clad himself in a new garment. The Revised Version makes 
it clear that it was the prophet's own garment that was rent. This 
symbolical action, or acted parable, was a favourite method with the 
prophets of conveying a Divine message in a vivid manner. 

32. But he shall have one tribe. The LXX more accurately gives ' two 
tribes.' Benjamin is evidently meant to be included in Aliijah's prophecy 
as remaining faithful to Solomon, for he speaks of ' ten pieces,' not eleven 
and ' ten tribes.' 

The fulfilment of both the curse and the blessing of the second com- 
mandment should here be noted. 


will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand : but I 
will make him prince all the days of his life for David my 
servant's sake, whom I chose, because he kept my com- 
mandments and my statutes : 35. But I will take the 
kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it unto thee, 
even ten tribes. 36. And unto his son will I give one tribe, 
that ^ David my servant may have a ^ light alway before me h Ps. cxxxii. i7 ; 
in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my skuup.^ 
name there. 37. And I will take thee, and thou shalt 
reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be 
king over Israel. 38. And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken 
unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, 
and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my 
commandments, as David my servant did ; that I will be 
with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, 
and will give Israel unto thee. 39. And I will for this 
afflict the seed of David, but not for ever. 40. Solomon 
sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, 
and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was 
in Egypt until the death of Solomon. 41. And the rest of 
the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, 
are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon ? 
42. And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over 
all Israel ivas forty years. 43, And Solomon slept with 

36. That David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jeru- 
salem (See reff. ). The lamp which is not suffered to go out implies 
the continual existence of a family or of the Church in the sight of 
God. The metaphor is said to be derived from the continual lamp 
burning in the semi-darkness of Oriental tents or houses, to which a 
traditional sanctity became attached, as to the household fire among 
northern nations. 

39. But not for ever. See note on ver. 12. The allusion in this verse 
is plainly Messianic. The tlirone of David was to be restored and estab- 
lished for ever in Christ. Cf. 8. Luke i. 32, 33. 

40. Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. Solomon, instead of 
looking at home, and repenting (which might have averted God's judg- 
ment), tries to fight against God by killing Jeroboam, like Herod in later 

Shishak king of Egypt. See note on p. 72. 



1 KINGS XI. ; 2 CHRON. IX. 29 

his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father : 
and Rehoboani his son reigned in his stead. 

2 CHRON. IX. 29. Now the rest of the acts of Solo- 
mon, first and last, ^ are they not written in the *^book of 
Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the 
Shilonite, and in the visions of -^ Iddo the seer "against 
Jeroboam the son of Nebat 1 

i 2Chron.ix.29. 
<> history. 

j ch. xii. 15 ; 

xiii. 22. 

7 concerning. 

2 Chron. tx. 29. This verse is interesting as showing that the Holy 
Spirit's guidance of the sacred writers led them to select truth from 
existing materials (not necessarily of an inspired character), and so com- 
pile an inspii'ed narrative to set forth the Divine purposes. See Liddon's 
sermon, ' The Inspiration of Selection.' 


Solomon's Foolishness 

Introduction. — All types are partial and imperfect; they illustrate 
some side or aspect of the Gospel ; but in other respects they may be 
warnings rather than examples. It is so with Solomon, as it was in a 
limited degree with David. Indeed, it is the very imperfections of the 
types which suggested forcibly the need of God becoming man, for God 
only could give a perfect human example. 

1. Solomon's fall. 

We are told that ' Solomon's 
heart was not perfect. ' In other 
words, he was divided in liis allegi- 
ance. He tried to serve both God 
and the world. His idolatry was 
due probably not to any real plea- 
sure that he himself took in it, but 

(1) to a desire to please his wives ; 

(2) to political motives. He thought 
it would cement the alliances he 
had made, and conciliate the dif- 
ferent classes of liis tributaries, if 
he erected temples to their divini- 
ties. This is an instance, of which 
there are many in history, of the 
failure of ungodly politics. 

2. Solomon's punishment. 

Time-serving and compromise 
generally bring their own retribu- 
tion. They weaken a man's own 


1. Describe Solomon's idolatry 
and its causes. 

Repeat the First Commandment. 

Illustrate with older children 
from the warnings of the Sermon on 
the Mount against a divided heart, 
trying to serve two masters, etc. 

Show that to stay away from 
church, or to attend schismatic or 
heretical worship, out of desire to 
please companions, or to gain any 
private end, is to fall into the same 
sin that Solomon fell. 

Or it may also be pointed out 
that the modern equivalent of 
idolatry is covetousness (Col. iii. 
5). ' Ye cannot serve God and 

Illustrate by Ananias and Sapph- 
ira (Acts v. ). 

2. Tlie narrative itself will illus- 
trate this point. 

Point out the expressions in 
verses 14 and 23, 'stirred up an 



Lesson VII — continued. 


influence and force of character. 
Any secret falseness to truth and 
conscience (what Plato called ' the 
lie in the soul '), and Isaiah ' a lie in 
the right hand' (Isa. xliv. 20), is sure 
to show itself in moral deteriora- 

The punishments which fell upon 
Solomon are singularly suggestive. 
He was anxious, by worldly means, 
to conciliate allies, and keep his 
empire together. He saw before 
the end of his reign the coming 
division of his people, and one ad- 
versary after another springing up, 
only thwarted for a time, but like 
so many finger-posts pointing to the 
future disaster. 

Whether Solomon actually wrote 
the Book of Ecclesiastes or not, it 
contains the teaching of the Holy 
Ghost as to the real issues of Solo- 
mon's life ; that no service of the 
world and its pleasures can bring 
lasting good ; it ends in ' vanity ' : 
and indeed that all is vanity except 
' to fear God and keep His com- 
mandments,' which is 'the whole 
duty of man' (Eccl. xii. 13). 

Solomon's Foolishness 

adversary,' and the prophecy of 
Ahijah, verses 31-39. 

These rebellions were permitted 
by God as a punishment. Indeed, 
the very means which Solomon took 
to prevent the prophecy being ful- 
filled led to its fulfilment by driving 
Jeroboam into Egypt for shelter. 

Blackboakd Sketch. 

1. Solomon'' s foolishness. 

Worshipped idols, breaking First and Second 
Commandment — 

(1) To please his wives ; 

(2) To gain friends. 

2. Solomon^s punishment. 

Instead of friends, he found enemies on every 

Learn — 

' No man can serve two masters.' 
'Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and 
Him only shalt thou serve.' 

68 1 KINGS XIL 1-24 

1 KINGS XIL 1-24; XIV. 21-23; 2 CHRON. XIL 1-12, 15, 16 

i ND Relioboam went to Sliechem : for all Israel were 
_±\_ come to Shecliem to make him king. 2. And it 
came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, 
who was yet in EgyjDt, heard of it, (for he was fled from 
the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in 
Egypt ;) 3. That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam 
and all the congregation of Israel came, and sjDake unto 
Rehoboam, saying, 4. Thy father made our yoke grievous : 
now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, 
and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we 
will serve thee. 5. And he said unto them. Depart yet 
for three days, then come again to me. And the people 
departed. 6. And King Rehoboam consulted with the old 
men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet 
lived, and said. How do ye advise that I may answer this 
people? 7. And they spake unto him, saying. If thou wilt 
be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, 
and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they 
will be thy servants for ever. 8. But he forsook the 
counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and 
consulted with the young men that were grown up with 
him, and which stood before him : 9. And he said unto 
them. What counsel give ye that we may answer this 
people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke 
which thy father did put uj^on us lighter ? 10. And the 
young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, 

1. And Rehoboam went to Shecliem. Shechem, also spelled iu the 
English Bible, Sichcin, is the modern Nablous between Mounts Ebal and 
Gerizini. Evidently it was chosen for a meeting-place b}' the northern 
tribes, from its historical associations, especiall}^ with Joshua (Josh, 
xxiv. ). Although after the revolt it was at first the cai)ital of Jeroboam, 
it was not a sufficiently strong position ; and first Tirzali took its place, 
and then the new fortress of .Samaria built by Omri. Shechem became 
famous afterwards as the centre of the religious Avorship of the Samaritans 
in opposition to the Temple at Jerusalem. 


saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake 
unto thee, saying, Thy fiither made our yoke heavy, but 
make thou it lighter unto us ; thus shalt thou say unto 
them. My little finger shall be thicker than my father's 
loins. 11. And now whereas my father did lade you with 
a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke : my father hath 
chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with 
scor^Dions. 12. So Jeroboam and all the people came to 
Eehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, 
saying. Come to me again the third day. 13. And the 
king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old 
men's counsel that they gave him ; 14. And spake to 
them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My 
fother made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke : 
my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chas- 
tise you with scorpions. 15. Wherefore the king heark- 
ened not unto the people ; ^ for the cause was from the i For it was a 

11 -1 n 1 • • 1-iiiT thing brought 

Lord, that he might perform his saying, which the Lord about of the 
spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of 
Nebat. 16. So when all Israel saw that the king heark- 

11. I will chastise you with scorpions. Probably the whole of this 
expression is metaphorical. It is doubtful whether free-born Israelites 
would ever have been scourged like slaves, even at their forced labour, 
though of course not impossible. ' Scorpions ' are generally understood 
to mean some severer kind of scourge, perhaps armed with iron points or 
weights like the Roman scourge. But it is not really known whether 
this was a current name for such a whip or not. The general meaning of 
the phrase is clear enough. 

15. The cause was from the LORD. See Revised Version. It is not 
of course meant by this that Rehoboam was not a free agent. The 
immediate cause of the rebellion was his own folly, obstinacy, and insol- 
ence. He utterly failed to read the signs of the times ; and doubtless 
vanity also played a large part in his action. Too proud to follow the 
advice of the old men, he had no moral courage to take his own line, but 
M^as eager to be admired and applauded by his youthful counsellors. 

Yet the reverence of tlie sacred writers ever sees the hand of God in 
human affairs. Behind the folly of Rehoboam and the disloyalty of the 
northern tril:)es was the Divine justice, employing these means to work 
its ends, to punish the idolatry of Solomon, and to give a warning for the 
future. God's counsels are immutable, but they may be fulfilled in more 
wa3's than one. A good man fulfils them willingly and to his own bless- 
ing ; a bad man fulfils them unconsciouslv and to his own ruin. 

70 1 KINGS XII. 1-24 

ened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, 
What portion have we in David ? neither have we inherit- 
ance in the son of Jesse : to your tents, Israel : now see 
to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their 
tents. 17. But as for the children of Israel which dwelt 
in the cities of Judah, Eehoboam reigned o^ser them. 18. 
o iv. 6 ; V. 14. Then king Rehoboam sent "Adoram, who was over the 
2 levy. " tribute ; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he 

died. Therefore king Reholjoam made sjjeed to get him 
up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. 19. So Israel 
rebelled against the house of David unto this day. 20. And 
it came to pass, when all Isi'ael heard that Jeroboam was 
come again, that they sent and called him unto the con- 
gregation, and made him king over all Israel : there was 
none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of 

16. What portion have -we in David ? These words must have had au 
ominous sound. They liad been the crj^ of the rebels, nearly half h 
centur}^ before, in the revolt of Sheba (2 Sam. xx. ). The hostility 
between the northern triljes, which centred round the great and pros- 
perous tribe of Ephraim or Joseph, and the divinely chosen tribe of Judah 
was one of long standing. Ephraim, as far as territory, worldly pos- 
sessions and strength could go, would naturally have been the leading 
tribe ; and the tribesmen could hardly forget that Joseph had been the 
favourite child of their common father. Extraordinary prominence is 
given to Joseph in the blessings of Jacob (Gen. xlix. ), and still more in 
those of Moses (Dent, xxxiii. ). 

The pride of Ephraim flashes out in their complaint against Gideon 
(Judges viii.) ; their early jealousy of the family of David is seen in their 
long support of Ishbosheth during the divisions that followed the death 
of Saul ; an open rebellion was with difficulty averted after Absalom's 
defeat ; and now at last a favourable opportunity^ and an apparently 
good cause, combined with the crass folly of Rehoboam, bring about a 
permanent schism, civil first and then religious. 

The cry of the revolting tribes implies their denial that the sovereigns 
of tlie house of David were, after all, anything more than tribal rulers. 
It was enough for David 'to see to his own house.' Of course this 
attitude, however justified outwardly by the misconduct of Solomon and 
Rehoboam, was a direct defiance of God's choice of David. The very 
existence of the northern kingdom was a declension from the Divine 
ideal, though God did not, in His mercj', leave them Avithout prophets 
and opportunities. 

17. The children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah. It is 
uncertain whether this expression means simply that the tribe of Judah 
remained faithful, or tliat members of the northern tribes, who were 
resident in the cities of Judah, did not take part in the rebellion. 


Judali only. 21. And when Eelioboam was come to Jeru- 
salem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe 
of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen 
men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of 
Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Eelioboam the son of 
Solomon. 22. But the word of God came unto Shemaiah 
the man of God, saying, 23. Speak unto Rehoboam, the 
son of Solomon, king of Judah, and unto all the house of 
Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, 
saying, 24. Thus saitli the Lord, ye shall not go up, nor 
fight against your brethren the children of Israel : return 
every man to his house ; for this thing is from me. They 
hearkened therefore to the word of the Lord, and returned 
to depart, according to the word of the Lord. 

1 KINGS XIV. 21. And Rehoboam the son of Solomon 
reigned in Judah. Rehoboam ivas forty and one years old 
when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in 
Jerusalem, the city which the Lord did choose out of all 
the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his 
mother's name was Naaniah an Ammonitess. 22. And 
Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked 

22. But the word of God came unto Shemaiah. This is a remarkable 
incident as showing (1) God's condemnation of civil war ; (2) the need of 
recognising Divine judgments in the calamities of history ; (3) the extra- 
ordinary influence of a prophet who, by a plain deliverance of truth, 
could alter a king's purpose and disperse an army of 180,000 men, many 
of whom, doubtless, were quite ready to gratify their ancient grudges 
against PJphraim, and were eager for the war. Cf. a similar incident in 
2 Chron. xxviii. 

1 Kings xiv. 21. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he 
began to reign. He must, therefore, have been born before Solomon's 
accession to the throne. This has been thought by some inconsistent 
with the statement of 2 Chron. xiii. 7, that he was at this time ' young 
and tender-hearted' ; and it has been suggested that tirenty-one was the 
original reading. 

And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess. It should be 
noted that (just as in the case of Absalom) the children born of heathen 
wives, in defiance of the Law, became the very means of the Divine 

22. And Judah did evil. The parallel account in 2 Chron. xi., xii. 
should be consulted, Avhere it is stated that it was not till the third 

72 2 CHRON. XII. 1-12, 15, 16 

h Deut. xxxii. him to ^jealousy with their sins which they had com- 
58 ; 1 Cor! x. 22! mitted, above all that their fathers had done. 23. For they 
3 pillars. also built them high places, and ^ images, and ^ groves, on 

every high hill, and under every green tree. 

2 CHRON. XI I. 1. And it came to pass, when Rehoboam 
had established the kingdom, and had strengthened him- 
self, he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with 
him. 2. And it came to pass, that in the fifth year of king 
Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jeru- 

year of Rehoboam that this general lapse of the nation into idolatry 
took place. 

They provoked him to jealousy. The Divine jealousy spoken of here and 
elsewhere in the Old Testament, notably in the Second Commandment, 
means the righteous jealousy of love. The nearest parallel to it in 
human things is in the love of husband and wife, which is often chosen 
by the Holy Spirit in the Bible to illustrate the relation of God to His 
people. Just as in that human love, no rival can or ought to be tolerated, 
so in a higher sphere, God desires to be loved entirely, not with half a 

23. Images. These may have been pillars (R.V. ) or simply upright 
stones, like the ' menhirs ' of Celtic religion. These sacred stones were 
tolerated in patriarchal times like the multiplication of altars ; but of 
course were forbidden under the Mosaic Law (Lev. xxvi. 1). 

And groves. This is an unfortunate mistranslation, wherever it occurs 
it should be understood to mean * Asherim,' i.e. probabl}' wooden images 
of a goddess called Asherah. It is uncertain whether there was actually 
a goddess of this name, or whether it is simply another form of Ashteroth. 
Another explanation of Asherim is that it refers to sacred wooden pillars, 
tree-trunks stripped of their branches, and perhaps carved into a rough 
representation of a divinity. 

Under every green tree. There was always a tendencj' among Eastern 
nations to venerate sacred trees. To dwellers near deserts a tree has 
rilways a peculiar charm, which easily becomes superstition. 

2 Cirnox. xii. 1 . When Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and 
had strengthened himself. 'J^ie preceding chapter gives the details, of 
which tliis is a siimmary. Rehoboam had 'built,' i.e. fortified, fifteen 
cities, chiefly in the south and west, evident!}" as a protection against 
invasion, particularly from Egypt. These cities he garrisoned and pro- 
vided witli stores and Avea]^ons. The same chapter menti(;ns the wives 
of Rehoboam, of whom the favourite was Maachah, 'the daughter of 

It is noteworthy that it was not till Rehoboam had, as he thought, 
strengthened his kingdom against invasion that )ie forsook the laM' of 
God : and not till then that the very invasion whjpb hf^ li-^d provided^ 
against fell upon him. 

2. Shishak king of Egypt. This Pharoah's name also appears aa 


salem, because they had transgressed against the Lord, 
3. With twelve hundred chariots, and threescore thousand 
horsemen : and the peojile were without number that came 
with him out of Egypt ; the Lubims, the Sukkiims, and 
the Ethiopians. 4. And he took the fenced cities which 
pertained to Judab, and came to Jerusalem. 5. Then came 
Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of 
Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because 
of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the Lord, Ye 
have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the 
hand of Shishak. 6. Whereupon the princes of Israel and 
the king humbled themselves ; and they said, ^ The Lord is c Exocl. ix. 27. 
righteous. 7. And when the Lord saw that they humbled 
themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, say- 
ing, They have humbled , themselves ; therefore I will not 
destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance ; and 
my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the 
hand of Shishak. 8. Nevertheless they shall be his 
servants ; '^ that they mav know my service, and the service d Deut. xxviii. 

47. 48. 

of the kingdoms of the countries. 9. So Shishak king of 

Sheshonk on Egyptian monuments, and in Greek as Sesonchis. He was 
the first Pharoah of the twentj'-second dynasty, and probably came to the 
throne about 990 B.C. There is an inscription on the walls of the great 
Temple at Karnak, in which Shishak himself commemorates this invasion ; 
he seems to have overrun Palestine generall}', but n<;)t to have retained 
any permanent conquest. 

Because they had transgressed against the LORD. This was not of 
course the reason in Shishak"s miud for the invasion, but it was the real 
reason. The inspired historian shows us the divine meaning of history, 
— the true causes of events and their real issues as they are in the mind 
of God. Cf. the striking words of Isaiah about the King of Assyria 
(Isa. X. 5-15) in a similar connection. 

.S. The Lubims— /.e. ' Libyans,'— inhabitants of North Africa, border- 
ing on Egypt. 

The Sukkiims— an unknown tribe. The LXX renders it ' Troglod3'tes,' the cave-dwellers on the west coast of the Red Sea. 

s. That they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms 
of the countries. Israel must he taught a lesson— part of the Divine 
education to which, throughout tlieii' history, they were subjected, the 
lesson of the difference between God's service, wliich they had cliafed 
under and refused, and the service of a mnster of this world. The 


2 CHRON. XII. 1-12, 15, 16 

€ 1 Kings 

Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the 
treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the 
king's house ; he took all : he carried away also ^ the shields 
of gold which Solomon had made. 10. Instead of which 
king Rehoboam made shields of brass, and committed them 
to the hands of the chief of the guard, that kept the 
entrance of the king's house. 11. And when the king 
entered into the house of the Lord, the guard came and 
fetched them, and brought them again into the guard 
chamber. 12. And when he humbled himself, the wrath 
of the Lord turned from him, that he would not destroy 
him altogether : and also in Judah ° things went well. . . . 
15. Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not 
written in the ^ book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo 
the seer " concerning genealogies ? And there 'were wars 
between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 16. And 
Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and Avas buried in the 
city of David ; and Abijah his son reigned in his stead. 

5 there were 
good things 

6 histories. 

7 after the 
manner of 

surrender of the treasures of Temple and palace was the bribe with which 
Shishak was bought off : it was a national humiliation. 

12. Also in Judah things went well. See Revised Version. The godly 
few were the salvation of the ^^anJ^ Sodom and Gomorrha would have 
been spared had ten righteous been found there. This is revealed to us 
in Hol}^ Scripture as a law of the Divine mercy and long-suffering. The 
world is preserved for the sake of the Church : and even in a degenerate 
Church the few righteous are intercessors before God on its behalf. 

15. Concerning genealogies. It has been suggested that this book Avas 
so called not so much from its subject, but, as was common among the 
Jews, from the first striking word in it, which was perhaps ' genealogies. ' 


Rehoboam's Self-will 


L Rehoboam. 

The characteristics of Rehol)oam 
seem to be iceahiess, allowing him- 
self to be led by those who were 
least fit to lead, and >ielf-vHll. He 
refuses to hear the words of wisdom 
of the aged counsellors, because 


1. Describe the meeting between 
the malcontents and Rehoboam. 

Point out tliat we are not told 
that Rehoboam asked counsel of 

Ask M'hy he took the worse 
advice : and show that he did not 



Lesson VIII — continued. Rehoboam's Sp:lf-will 


to follow their advice would have 
meant a little humiliation. He pre- 
fers to win the applause of the 
younger men and take Avhat seemed 
a high-handed and imperious line. 

In the same way he seems to have 
been influenced l)y the princes of 
Judali in his later apostasy. 

The results of Rehoboam's self- 
will are evident. He made himself, 
as it were, the very instrument of 
the Divine punishment. He lost 
most of his kingdom, and he brought 
on himself and his people the 
iiumiliation of invasion and defeat 
by Shishak, and the loss of the 
treasures of Solomon. 

2. The People. 

The conduct of the ten tribes 
shows the same self-willed spirit, 
the same laclv of a sense of responsi- 
bility which mark Rehoboam. They 
not only desired freedom from 
tribute, but they were disloyal to 
the house of David, which involved 
disobedience to the known will of 

The results, as far as the people 
were concerned, of their self-willed 
rebellion, were the fatal schism of 
the kingdoms, and the weakening 
of both. The witness of tlie chosen 
nation to Jehovah became obscured 
in the ej^es of the heathen when 
that nation was divided against it- 
self. So these events become a sad 
type of the divisions of the Catholic 
Church, which are not only contrary 
to the Divine ideal of i;nity (S. John 
xvii. ), but must terribly diminish 
the influence of the Church on the 
world, especially in the case of 
missions to tlie heathen. 


wish to do what was best for his 
people, but what would make him- 
self appear grand in the eyes of his 
companions. There is an element 
of ' showing off ' in Rehoboam's 
conduct which will be easily under- 
stood by children. 

The teacher will point out that 
it is not what people think, or what 
we imagine they think, about us, 
which is of real importance, but an 
honest, straightforward will to do 

The lesson of gentleness, and of a 
'soft answer turning away wrath,' 
may also be drawn from this picture 
of Rehoboam. 

2. Question on the conduct of 
the people under Jeroboam's lead. 
What did they say they wanted? 
What did they really want ? 
Why was it wrong? 
Refer to God's promises to David. 

This lesson will naturally lead 
to considering the deadly sins of 
schism in the Church and rebellion 
in the State. 

For rebellion, see Rom. xiii. 1-7. 

For schism, see S. John xvii. 20- 
23 ; 1 Cor. i. 10 ; iii. 3-5. 

The petition in the Litany should 
be quoted ; and the children en- 
couraged to pray for the reunion of 
Christians. It should be pointed 
out that self-will is usually the cause 
of divisions in religion. 

3. Justice and mercy. 

God's justice is vindicated in the 
refusal to allow any attempt at 
vengeance on the revolting tribes, 

3. Describe the repentance of the 
people. Show that tiieir confession, 
' The Lord is righteous,' is the exact 


Lesson yill^continued. Rehoboam's Self-will 


and in the permission to Shishak to 
humiliate still further Rehoboam 
and his people. 

But repentance is never unheard. 
When people humble themselves 
and confess ' the Lord is righteous, ' 
the judgment is stayed. At the 
same time they do not go eutirelj'- 
unpunished. Forgiveness does not 
necessarily entail the removal of the 
temporal punishment of sin. Cf. 
Ps. xcix. 8, 'Thou heardest them, 
O Lord our God ; thou forgavest 
them, God, and punishedst their 
own inventions.' 


contrary of the sin of self-will. 
Self-will says, ' / am righteous, my 
own way is right, and I mean to 
have it.' 

Illustrate by Pharaoh. 

An important lesson lies in the 
fact that punishment may be given 
for the good of the offender, to warn 
him and others against further sin, 
even if he has been forgiven. 

Blackboard Sketch. 


1 . Rehoboam — self-ivilled. 

wanted his own way. 

wanted to be admired by foolish 

2. The people — equally self-willed. 

refused to obey their lawful king. 

rebellion in the State") , 

-deadly sins, 
schism ill the Church I 

3. Self-will says, 'I am right.' 
Repentance says, 'God is right.' 

4. God is both just and merciful. 

He punished both king and people for their 
sin, but showed mere}' when they repented. 


1 KINGS XIL 25-33 ; XIII. ; XIV. 1-20 

THEN Jeroboam built " Shechem in ^ mount Ephraim, a Judges ix. 46. 
^ Uhe hill 

and dwelt therein ; and went out from thence, and country of. ' 

built ''Penuel. 26. And Jeroboam said in his heart, & Judges viii.i 7. 

Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David : 

27. If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the 

Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this jDCople 

turn again unto their lord, even unto Eehoboam king of 

Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam 

king of Judah. 28. Whereupon the king took counsel, 

and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too 

much for you to go up to Jerusalem : <' behold thy gods, « Exod. xxxii. 4. 

Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 

29. And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in 

25. Penuel. Jeroboam not only fortifies Shechem (see note on ver. 1), 
but also a stronghold on the east side of Jordan, Penuel, the scene of 
Jacob's wrestling (Gen. xxxii), and one of the places that refused help to 
Gideon in his pursuit of the Midianites (Judges viii. 8). The site is 
uncertain. ' Penuel was probably a prominent ridge near the Jabbok ; 
not necessarily to the south of this, and above Succoth " (G. A. Smith's 
Hist. Geog., pp. 585-86). 

28. Two calves of gold. In this case, no doubt, just as in the parallel 
idolatry of Israel at tSinai, there was some traditional reason for the 
choice of a calf as a symbol of Jehovah. Some have thought the ' cherub ' 
was originally a winged bull, under which form Israel in pre-historic days 
had perhaps worsliipped Jehovah. Others have supposed that the calf was 
a reminiscence of the bull-worship of Egypt, though this theory now is 
generally given up. It may be simply that, among a pastoral people, the 
bull, being naturally a type of strength and of increase, was adopted as a 
symbol of the national divinity. But so long as such degraded ideas of 
the godhead held sway, it was impossible for a true and spiritual religion 
to be learned ; hence all representations of Jehovah are forbidden in the 
Second Commandment, and the sacred writers uniformly represent this 
piece of state-craft, which made religion the tool of politics, and pandered 
to the old instincts of idolatry, as the turning-point for evil in the 
existence of the ten tribes. It was thus that Jeroboam ' made Israel to 
sin.' Cf. the allusions to the calf-worship in Amos iv. 4; vii. 10, 13; 
and in Hosea (more clearly) viii. 5, 6; x. 5 (where Beth-aven, 'house of 
vanity,' is a contemptuous variation for Bethel, ' house of God'). 

29. And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan. These 
two places mark the limits east and north of Jeroljtoam's kingdom, 
like Dan and Beersheba in the days of the undivided kingdom. Bethel 
had of course religious associations dating from Jacob's time (cf. 1 Sam. 

1 KINGS XII. 25-33 ; XIII. ; XIV. 1-20 

Dan. 30. And this thing became a sin : for the peoi^le 
went to ivorship before the one, even unto Dan. 31. And 

2 from among he made an house of high places, and made priests - of the 
e peop e. ^^^^^g^ ^£ ^Y\q people, which were not of the sons of Levi. 
32. And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, 
on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that 
is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in 
Beth-el, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made : and 

d Amos vii. 12 he placed in ^'Beth-el the priests of the high places which 
he had made. 33. So he offered upon the altar which he 
had made in Beth-el the fifteenth day of the eighth month, 
even in the month which he had devised of his own heart ; 
and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel : and he 
offered upon the altar, and burnt incense. 

XIII. 1. And, behold, there came a man of God out of 

X. 3), and would form a natural rival to Jerusalem. Why Dan, i.e. Laish, 
was selected is not so clear, unless the ancient idolatry of Micah and 
'the children of Dan' (Judges xviii. 30, 31) had lasted on, and given a 
superstitious glamour to the place. 

30. The people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. Not 
an easy verse to understand, unless (as suggested by Cambridge Bible) 
it means that the extent of the idolatry of the people is shown by 
the fact that they not merely went to the old shrine of Bethel, but even 
to the far-off Dan. 

31 . And made priests of the lowest of the people. This phrase is some- 
what softened in the Revised Version, but, in any case, Jeroboam's action 
was in flat defiance of the Law of God. A parallel action in modern 
times would be the setting up of a Christian ministry without episcopal 
ordination. Under both old and new Covenants, God is not the God ' of 
confusion but of peace,' there is a due ' order' to be observed, which man 
may not alter ' after his own heart.' ^ 

32. Like unto the feast that is in Judah, i.e. the feast of Tabernacles, 
which was on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. 

XIII. 1. And, hehold, there came a man of God out of Judah. The mission 
of this unnamed prophet is remarkably like that of Amos in the days of 
Jeroboam ii. , a century and a half later (see Amos vii.). The northern 
kingdom, in God's mercy, became especially the field of the activity of 
prophets; both of those from Judah who came across the frontier to deliver 
their message and then retired, and those who were native to Israel, like 
Elijah and Elisha. It was not till every appeal had been rejected, that 
the ten tribes were suffered by God to be carried into captivity (2 Kings 

1 According to 2 Chron. xi. 13, 14, most of the priests and Levites belonging to the 
northern kingdom, refusing to have anything to do with Jeroboam's new religion, took 
refuge with Rehoboam. Hence Jeroboam was compelled to find successors to them. 


Judah by the word of the Lord unto Beth-el : and Jero- 
boam stood by the altar to burn incense. 2. And he cried 
against the altar in the word of the Lord, and said, 
altar, altar, thus saith the Lord ; Behold, a child shall be 
born unto the house of David, ^ Josiah by name ; and upon e 2 Kings xxiii. 
thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn 
incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon 
thee. 3. And he gave a sign the same day, saying. This is 
the sign which the Lord hath spoken ; Behold, the altar 
shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured 
out. 4. And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard 
the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the 
altar in Beth-el, that he put forth his hand from the altar, 
saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put 
forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in 
again to him. 5. The altar also was rent, and the ashes 
poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the 
man of God had given by the word of the Lord, 6. And 
the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat 

now the face of the Lord thy God, and -^pray for me, that /Exod. viii. S; 

- . ' ^ -^ ' Num. xxi. 7 ; 

my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God be- Acts viii. 24 ; 

1 1 -r 1 1 T • , 1 1 ; T 1 • . S. James v. 16. 

sought the Lord, and the kmg s hand was restored him again 

and became as it was before. 7. And the king said unto the 

man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and 

xvii. 13-18). On the subject of 'prophets,' and the prophetical order, 
see vol. i. p. 23. 

1. By the word of the LORD. This is the regular expression for the 
inspiration of a prophet, who declared authoritatively a Divine message. 
The prophet usually prefaced his message by the words, ' Thus saith the 
Lord,' as in ver. 2. 

2. Josiah by name. This is a remarkable instance of predictive 
prophecy. The words of the prophet were exactly fulfilled some three 
hundred and thirty years later (2 Kings xxiii. 15, IG). 

7. And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me. The 
king's invitation was no sign of repentance, as is shown by his subse- 
quent idolatry (ver. 33). He was either frightened for the moment by 
this exhibition of miraculous power, and desired to propitiate the 
prophet; or else he was alarmed for the effect it might have on the 
people, and wished to show that, after all, he and the prophet were on 
good terms. 

80 1 KINGS XII. 25-33 ; XIII. ; XIV. 1-20 

g 2 Kings v. 15. I will give thee ^a reward. 8. And the man of God said 
h Num. xxii. IS. unto the king, If thou wilt give me ^ half thine house, I will 
not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water 
in this place : 9. For so was it charged me by the word 
i 1 Cor. V. 11. of the Lord, saying, '• Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor 
turn again by the same way that thou camest. 10. So he 
went another way, and returned not by the way that he 
came to Beth-el. 11. Now there dwelt an old prophet in 
Beth-el ; and his sons came and told him all the works 
that the man of God had done that day in Beth-el : the 
words which he had sj^oken unto the king, them they told 
also to their ftither. 12. And their father said unto them. 
What way went he 1 For his sons had seen what way the 
man of God went, which came from Judah. 13. And he 
said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled 
him the ass : and he rode thereon, 14. And went after 
the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak : and 
he said unto him. Art thou the man of God that camest 
from Judah ? And he said, I am. 15. Then he said unto 
him, Come home wdth me, and eat bread. 16. And he 
said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee : 
neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this 
place : 17. For it was said to me by the word of the 
Lord, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor 
turn again to go by the way that thou camest. 18. He said 
unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art ; and an angel 

9. For so was it charged me by the word of the LORD. The prophet 
was bidden to have no intercourse of any description with those to whom 
he was sent. He was the messenger of God's wrath, and the solemnity 
of his mission must not be toned down by joining in meals or conversation 
with the idolaters. 

11. Now there dwelt an old prophet in Beth-el. This man must have 
been one of the class of i)rofessional prophets. He was a prophet of 
Jehovah, but had profaned his office ap})arently by acquiescing in the 
idolatry of Jeroboam. His object in h'ing and bringing the prophet 
from Judali to his house was probably to keep himself from being dis- 
credited. He was anxious to appear to be on friendly terms with a 
l)rophet of such remarkable powers. See a striking sermon on this 
subject by Liddon, Old Testament Sermom^. 


spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him 
back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and 
drink water. But he lied unto him. 19. So he went 
back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank 
water. 20. And it came to jmss, as they sat at the table, 
that the word of the Lord came unto the prophet that 
brought him back : 21. And he cried unto the man of 
God that came from Judah, saying. Thus saith the Lord, 
Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the Lord, 
and hast not kept the commandment which the Lord thy 
God commanded thee, 22. But camest back, and hast 
eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which 
the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no 
water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy 
fathers. 23. And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, 
and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to 
wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24. And 
when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew 
him : and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass 
stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. 25. And, 
behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the 
way, and the lion standing by the carcase : and they came 
and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt. 
26. And when the prophet that brought him back from 
the Avay heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who 
was disobedient unto the ^ word of the Lord : therefore ^ mouth, 
the Lord hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath 
torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the 
Lord, which he spake unto him. 27. And he spake to 
his sons, saying. Saddle me the ass. And they saddled 
him. 28. And he went and found his carcase cast in the 
way, and the ass and the lion standing by the carcase : the 

20. The word of the LORD came unto the prophet that broug-ht him 
hack. Ill spite of himself, the old prophet is compelled to prophesy 
truly. God may speak, if He wills, even by the mouth of a bad man. 
So Baalam, wishing to please Balak by cursing Israel, was compelled by 
the overmastering inspiration of the Spirit 'to bless them altogether.' 
HKB. Moy. ; VOL. II. F 

82 1 KINGS XII. 25-33 ; XIII. ; XIV. 1-20 

lion had not eaten the carcase, nor torn the ass. 29. And 
the projDhet took up the carcase of the man of God, and 
laid it ujDon the ass, and brought it back : and the old 
prophet came to the city, to mourn and to bury him. 
30. And he laid his carcase in his own grave ; and they 

j Jer. xxii. 18. mourned over him, saying, •^Alas, my brother! 31. And 
it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake 
to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the 

k 2 Kings xxiii. sej^ulchre wherein the man of God is buried ; ^lay my bones 
beside his bones : 32. For the saying which he criedby 
the word of the Lord against the altar in Beth-el, and 
against all the houses of the high places which are in the 
cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass. 33. After 
this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but 
made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high 
places : whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he 
became one of the priests of the high places. 34. And 
this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to 
cut it ojBf, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth. 

XIV. 1. At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell 
sick. 2. And Jeroboam said to his wife. Arise, I pray 
thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be 
the wife of Jeroboam ; and get thee to Shiloh : behold, 

I ch. xi. 31. theie is Ahijah the prophet, ^ which told me that I should 

he king over this people. 3. And take with thee ten 

28. The lion had not eaten the carcase nor torn the ass. This remark- 
able fact showed that the lion was the direct instrument of Divine 
judgment. The fate which had befallen the disobedient could not be 
put down to 'accident,' or 'nature,' or 'coincidence,' or any other of 
the empty conceptions by which men cheat themselves into refusing to 
recognise the liand of God. 

33. Whosoever would, he consecrated him. The Hebrew for 'conse- 
crated' literally means 'filled his hand,' and probably refers to the 
ceremony of placing pai't of the sacrificial offerings in the hand of the 
candidate for priesthood. See king Abijah's comment on Jeroboam's 
'consecration' in 2 Chron. xiii. 9. 

XIV. 3. And take with thee ten loaves, and cracknels. The present was 
not such as a queen would have presented to a prophet (see the king 
of Syria's present for Elisha, 2 Kings v. 5). It was of the humblest 
character, such as would be offered by a poor country woman. The 


loaves, and cracknels, and a cruse of honey, and go to 
him : he shall tell thee what shall become of the child. 

4. And Jeroboam's wife did so, and arose, and went to 
Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. But Ahijah 
could not see ; for his eyes were set by reason of his age. 

5. And the Lord said unto Ahijah, Behold, the wife of 
Jeroboam cometh to ask a thing of thee for her son ; for 
he is sick : thus and thus shalt thou say unto her : for it 
shall be, when she cometh in, that she shall feign herself to 
he another woman. 6. And it was so, when Ahijah heard 
the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he 
said. Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam ; why feignest thou 
thyself to be another ? for I am sent to thee with heavy 
tidings. 7. Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the Lord God 
of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the 
people, and made thee prince over my people Israel, 8. 
And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and 
gave it thee : and yet thou hast not been as my servant 
David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me 
with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine 
eyes ; 9. But hast done evil above all that were before 
thee : for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and 
molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me 
behind thy back : 10. Therefore, behold, I will bring evil 
upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jero- 
boam ^hini that pisseth against the wall, and him that is ■* every man 

/■ ^ _ _ ' child, him tliat 

shut up and left in Israel, and ^ will take away the remnant is shut up aiid 

^ ' "^ him that is k-ft 

of the house of Jeroboam, as a man ^ taketh away dung, at large. 

till it be all gone. 11. Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the sweep away "the 


city shall the dogs eat ; and him that dieth in the field 6 sweepeth, 

word rendered ' cracknel ' is of uncertain meaning. The Talmud says 
that they were small cakes about lialf the size of an egg. 

10. Him that is shut up and left in Israel. 8ee Revised Version. Tliis 
was apparently a proverbial expression, meaning 'people of every sort,' 
bond and free alike. 

11. Him that dieth of Jeroboam, i.e. all of the familv or household of 
Jeroboam who die shall remain unburied ; the last possible indignity in 
the eyes of a Jew, especially as it involved becoming the food of unclean 
beasts, dogs, and vultures. See Jer. xxii. 19. 

84 1 KINGS XII. 25-33 ; XIII. ; XIV. 1-20 

shall the fowls of the air eat : for the Lord hath spoken it. 

12. Arise thou therefore, get thee to thine own house : 
and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die. 

13. And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him : for 
he only of Jerol3oam shall come to the grave, because 
in him there is found some good thing toward the Lord 
God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam. 14. Moreover 
the Lord shall raise him up a king over Israel, who shall 
cut off the house of Jeroboam that day : but what ? even 

m s. Matt. xi. 7. now. 15. For the Lord shall smite Israel, "'as a reed is 

shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of 

this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall 

?i 2 Kings XV. scatter them "bevond the river, because they have made 

29. . 5 ^ 

7Asiierim. their ''groves, provoking the Lord to anger. 16. And he 

shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who 

did sin, and who made Israel to sin. 17. And Jeroboam's 

wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah : and when 

13. He only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave. We are not told the 
age of Jeroboam's son, nor in what his piety consisted. There is a 
tradition that he had encouraged the people to continue to go to worship 
at Jerusalem ; but, at any rate, his earl}^ death was not only nor chiefly 
a judgment upon his father, but was an act of mercy to himself. It may 
help us to understand something of the mystery of early and apparently 
premature deaths. Cf. what is said of Josiah, 2 Kings xxii. 19, 20. 

'The good die first, 
And they whose hearts are dry as summer dust 
Burn to the sockets.' 

"WoRDSWOKTH, ExcxLvsion, i. 

14. Moreover the LORD shall raise him up a king over Israel. This 
king was Baaslia (1 Kings xv. 27-30), who exactly fulfilled this prQphec3^ 
He was the instrument of Divine vengeance, though himself an evil king. 
(See chap. xvi. 1-7.) 

But what? even now. Evidently this phrase was meant to express 
vividly that tlie events predicted were close at hand. It may be seen 
from Ezek. xii. 21-22 that people often disregarded a prophet's warning 
by persuading themselves that his prediction w^oulcl not be fulfilled for 
a long time. 

15. The river — i.e. the Euplirates. 

17. Tirzah. A fortress, once a royal city of the Canaanites (Josh. xii. 
24) celebrated for its beauty (Cant. vi. 4), and, perhaps, for that reason 
chosen b}' Jeroboam as a royal residence. Its site is uncertain, probably 
near Shechem : ' In the territory of Ephraim, the fertile plains, and to a 
certain extent wooded hills, which have been often noticed as its charac- 



she came to the threshold of the door, the child died ; 

18. And they buried him ; and all Israel mourned for him, 

according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by the 

hand of his servant Ahijah the prophet. 19. And the 

rest of the acts of Jeroboam, ''how he warred, and how o 2 ciuon. xiii. 

he reigned, behold, they are written in the book of the 

chronicles of the kings of Israel. 20. And the days which 

Jeroboam reigned were two and twenty years : and he slept 

with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his stead. 

teristic ornaments, at once gave an opening to the formation of parks 
and pleasure-grounds similar to those which were the "Paradises" of 
Assyrian and Persian monarchs ' (Stanley's Sinai and Palestine, pp. 

20. And he slept with his fathers. Jeroboam's death would seem from 
2 Chron. xiii. 20 to have been sudden, and regarded as a Divine judg- 



Part I. — Disobedience of the Wicked. 


1. A disobedient king. 

Jeroboam, though a usurper, had 
received his throne by divine per- 
mission, and in accordance M'ith 
prophecy. He knew that God's 
displeasure had brought this dis- 
aster upon the family of David. 
Yet, although he did not, like 
Solomon, adopt the worship of 
foreign idols, he nevertheless broke 
the most solenni requirements of 
the Law, by making graven images 
to represent Jehovah. It was, in 
any case, a deliberate step back- 
wards ; it was going 1)ack to an 
earlier and corrupt form of worship. 
Besides the withdrawal of tlie people 
from the central sanctuary at Jeru- 
salem was also a retrograde step ; 
for one worship with one centre 
was the Divine ideal. 

Jeroboam's excuses for this act 
of disobedience were worldly and 


1. Recapitulate from previous 
lesson the duty of obedience to 
rulers, referring to Catechism, 

Ask whether a king has to obey 
any one. 

Show how Jeroboam disobeyed 
the Divine command. 

Point out that we must never ask 
first what is the safest or most pru- 
dent course to adopt, but what is 
the right one. Has God given any 
commandment ? 


1 KINGS XII. 25-33 ; XIII. ; XIV. 1- 


Lesson IX— continued. Disobedience 

political. He could not trust God 
who had given him his throne, to 
keep it for him. 

2. One sin leads to another. 

;■- 'A ruler cannot help being respon- 
sible for what is intrusted to him. So 
Jeroboam stands out in Jewish his- 
tor}^ emphatically, as the one who 
made Israel to sin. The northern 
kingdom never recovered from the 
moral etfect of Jeroboam's act. 

It should be noted also how Jero- 
boam having once taken this false 
step feels himself, as it were, com- 
pelled to go on with it. He disre- 
.gards all warnings ; the words of 
the prophet, God's stroke, and 
even God's mercy alike are ignored. 

3. The results of sin. 

Jeroboam lost his kingdom, or 
rather it was lost for his family, by 
the very means which he took to 
preserve it. The idolatry which he 
meant to be a bond of strength to 
his people Avas the cause of their 
downfall. God looks at so called 
'political expediency' with other 
eyes than man does. 


2. Illustrate from narrative — 

(a) How Jeroboam, having once 
begun, went on sinning. 

The first step is always the most 

{b) How he could not help making 
other people sin as well as himself. 

See what our Lord says about 
this (S. Matt, xviii. 6). 

With older classes dwell on re- 
sponsihility for others. 

3. Show how the same prophet 
who had been commissioned to tell 
Jeroboam that he Avould be king, is 
now bidden to tell him that his chil- 
dren would lose the kingdom. 

God's gifts can only be kept by 

Blackboard Sketch. 



Disobedience of the Wicked. 

Jeroboam — a disobedient king — in trying to 
keep his kingdom he disobeyed God, who 
gave it. 

Sin leads to sin. The golden calves (dis- 
obedience to Second Commandment) led to 
disobedience to prophet and to making 
other people sin. 

Sin brings its own punishment. 

— ' What is a man profited if he gain the 
Avhole world and lose his own soul ? ' 



Lesson IX — continued. Disobedience 

Part II.— The Disobedience of the Good. 


1. The prophet's mission. 

There is something very reniai'k- 
able about the mission of this 
projDhet. No name is given — that 
is of no importance. What is im- 
portant is that he came ' by the 
word of the Lord,' i.e. under 
Divine inspiration. 

He was not told what particular 
circumstances he would meet with, 
what special temptations might 
attack him. He was given two 
things — 

(1) A plain command to face the 
king and tell him the truth from 

(2) A plain command to accept 
no refreshment nor hospitality. 
Having delivered his message he 
was to disappear, not even going 
home by the way he had come. 

All this was to emj)hasise the 
fact that the message and not the 
messenger \vas the most important 

2. The prophet's temptations. 

He had to face the sudden wrath 
of the king as well, doubtless, as 
the derision of the courtiers. He 
confronted this in the courage of 
faith — faith which could win from 
God the double miracle, the wither- 
ing and the healing of the king's 

He had to face the opposite 
danger of a sudden popularity. 
The king offers him reward and 
the honour of entertainment at the 

Resisting this, he had of course 
to endure hunger and weariness 
and probal)ly some reaction of 
spirits after the strain of his con- 
test with the king. 


1. Remind of Jeroboam's sin. 
God in His mercy sends a prophet 
to warn him. 

Describe the scene — the miracles. 
But what we have to think about 
to-day is the prophet himself. 

What had God told him to do? 

Why was he forbidden to eat and 
drink at Bethel, or to go home the 
same way ? 

To show that it was the word of 
God and not of man ; the prophet 
was to be a voice speaking for God, 
and nothing else. He was not to 
talk about his message afterwards, 
nor what he had done, nor was he 
to make friends with those who 
were doing what God had for- 

2. Describe the temptations 
which beset the prophet, and tested 
his loyalty to his mission. 

(1) In the king's presence at 


(2) In loneliness, as he went back. 
Because we have mastered one 

temptation or two, we must not 
think that the struggle is over. 

Illustrate by the different temp- 
tations of our Lord. Even after the 
third, Satan only departed from him 
'for a season' (S. Luke iv. 13). 


1 KINGS XII. 25-33 ; XIII. ; XIV. 1-20 

Lessox IX — continued. Disobedience 


The final teinptcation is the lie 
told him by the old prophet who, 
for some motive of his own, pro- 
bably to cover his own lack of 
courage to warn Jeroboam, was 
eager to have him for a guest. 

3. The prophet's disobedience. 

It is impossible for us to say lohy 
the prophet, after surmounting so 
many temptations, yielded to this 
one. Possibly physical reasons may 
have had something to do with it. He 
may have been 'sitting under an oak,' 
tired out and hungry. Or perhaps 
he was flattered by the attentions 
shown him by an older prophet- It 
is often more difficult to withstand 
a temptation which comes from 
one's own class or order, than those 
which are suggested from quarters 
which have no attraction or with 
which we are not familiar. A man's 
foes, in this sense also, are often 
those ' of his own household.' 

One thing is certain that his 
commission had been so clearly 
addressed to his own conscience, 
that had he been true to conscience, 
he would not have listened to the 
old prophet's suggestion. 

See Christian Year ; poem for 8th 
Sunday after Trinity, 


3. It is, of course, very difficult 
to explain the conduct of the old 
prophet ; both his falsehood, and 
his speaking the truth under Divine 

It will be best to point out — 

(1) Perseverance to the end is 

what God requires. 

(2) The need of absolute loyalty 

to any command which we 
knoiv comes from God, even 
though our own friends or 
equals trj- to persuade us 

(3) If time alloAv, the terrible con- 

sequence of lying. The old 
prophet was the cause of the 
death of ' the man of God.' 
See what our Lord says of lying 
(S. John viii. 44). 

Picture the unavailing regrets of 
the old prophet. 



Blackboard Sketch. 

Disobedience of the Good. 

The man of God, or ijroplut, from Juclah. 

1. Commanded by God — 

(1) To warn the idolatrous king. 

(2) Not to eat or drink at Bethel. 

2. Temptations resisted — 

(1) The king's anger. 

(2) The king's offer of reward and refresh- 


{^) Temptation yielded to — 

The old prophet deceives liim with a lie ; 
persuades him to disobey God's com- 

Lesson — The importance of obeying God rather 

than pleasing men, or pleasing one's self. 

' He that shall endure unto the end, the same 

shall be saved.' 

90 2 CHRON. XIII. ; XIV. ; XY. ; XVI. 

2 CHRON. XIII. ; XIY. ; XV. ; XVI. 

"lyrOW in the eighteenth year of king- Jeroboam began 
11 Abijah to reign over Judah. 2. He reigned three 
years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was 
Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. And there was 
war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3. And Abijah set 
the battle in array with an army of valiant men of war, 
even four hundred thousand chosen men : Jeroboam also 
set the battle in array against him with eight hundred 
thousand chosen men, beiiig mighty men of valour. 4. And 
Abijah stood up upon mount "Zemaraim, which is ^ in 

a Josh, xviii. 

1 in the hill mount Ephraim, and said, Hear me, thou Jeroboam, and 
country of. 

all Israel ; 5. Ought ye not to know that the Lord God of 

Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even 

to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt ? 6. Yet 

XIII. 1, Abijah. Called in I Kings xv, Abijam. The account in Kings 
of this monarch appears at first sight inconsistent with that in Chronicles. 
The earlier writer states that ' he walked in all the sins of his father 
which he had done before him.' But it should be noted that the chroni- 
cler abstains from any general judgment about Abijah, e.g. he does not 
say that ' he did that which was good and right,' as is stated in the case 
of Asa (chap. xiv. 2). It would be quite consistent that a man who, 
speaking generally, followed the religious laxness of Rehoboam and 
Solomon should yet, at a great crisis, make an appeal on belialf of the 
national religion like that attril:)uted to Abijah. Nor is it out of harmony 
with the Divine dealings that the people who followed him, and 'relied 
on the Lord God of their fathers,' should be rewarded with victory. Cf. 
the similar case of Rehoboam and the princes of Israel in chap. xii. 

2. His mother's name also was Michaiali. More probal:)ly Maachah, as 
in chap. xi. 20, and in 1 Kings xv. 2. There is also some inconsistency 
as to the name of Abijah's grandfather. But in the absence of full know- 
ledge the question cannot be decided. It has been suggested that 
Maachah was the daughter of Uriel, and the grand-daughter of Absalom, 
of which name Abishalom is merely another form. 

3. Four hundred thousand chosen men. These numbers, if correct, 
nnist refer to the whole ligliting strength of the two kingdoms, and not 
to the actual armies in one battle. It should be noticed that the 
numbers correspond roughly to the results of the census taken by David 
(2 Sam. xxiv. 9). 

5. A covenant of salt, i.c a covenant binding by a solemn religious 
sanction. There is a close connection between the ritual of a covenant 


Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son 

of David, is risen up, and hath rebelled against his lord. 

7. And there ^are gathered unto him ^vain men, the chil- - were. 

h Judges ix, 4. 
dren of Belial, and have strengthened themselves against 

Kehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young 

and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them. 8. And 

now ye think to withstand the kingdom of the Lord in the 

hand of the sons of David ; and ye be a great multitude, 

and there are with you golden calves, which Jeroboam made 

you for gods. 9. Have ye not cast out the priests of the 

Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made 

you priests after the manner of the nations of other lands ? 

so that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a 

young bullock and seven rams, the same may be a priest of 

them that are no gods. 1 0. But as for us, the Lord is our 

God, and we have not forsaken him ; and the priests, which 

minister unto the Lord, are the sons of Aaron, and the 

Levites ivait upon their business : 11. And they burn unto 

the Lord every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices 

and sweet incense : the shewbread also set they in order 

upon the pure table ; and the candlestick of gold with the 

lamps thereof, to burn every evening : for we keep the 

charge of the Lord our God ; but ye have forsaken him. 

12. ; And, behold, God himself is with us ^for our captain, ^ at our head, 

and his priests with * sounding trumpets, to cry alarm o/^i^j^!^^^^™^^*^ 

against you. children of Israel, fight ye not against the 

Lord God of your fathers ; for ye shall not prosper. 13. 

But Jeroboam caused an ambushment to come about 

behind them : so they were before Judah, and the anibush- 

and a sacrifice — a covenant was ratified bj^ a sacrifice (see Gen. xv.); 
indeed, the underlying idea in both is similar, viz. the friendship between 
two parties cemented bj' a meal taken in common. Hence ' a covenant 
of salt' would mean, in the first place, a covenant in which each party 
had partaken of the same salt. And this may have been the original 
reason why sacrifices were always "salted with salt.' Cf. Lev. ii. 13, and 
S. Mark ix. 49. 

7. The children of Belial. Belial is not really a proper name, though 
so understood in later times. The phrase simply means ' children of 
wortlilessness,' and so 'worthless persons.' 

92 2 CHRON. Xin. ; XIV. ; XV. ; XVI. 

luent was behind them. 14. And when Judah looked back, 
behold, the battle ivas before and behind : and they cried 
unto the Lord, and the priests sounded with the trumpets. 
15. Then the men of Judah gave a shout : and as the men 
of Judah shouted, it came to pass, that God smote Jero- 
boam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16. And 
the children of Israel fled before Judah : and God delivered 
them into their hand. 17. And Abijah and his people 
slew them with a great slaughter : so there fell down slain 
of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men. 18. Thus the 
children of Israel were l)rought under at that time, and the 
children of Judah prevailed, because they relied upon the 
Lord God of their fathers. 19. And Abijah pursued after 
Jeroboau), and took cities from him, Beth-el with the 
towns thereof, and Jeshanah with the towns thereof, and 
Epliron. 5 Ephrain with the toAvns thereof. 20. Neither did Jero- 

boam recover strength again in the days of Abijah : and 
the Lord struck him, and he died. 21. But Abijah waxed 
- mighty, and married fourteen wives, and begat twenty and 
two sons, and sixteen daughters. 22. And the rest of the 
acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are written 
c chap, xii!' is! in the *'' story of the proi^het '^ Iddo. 

16. And the ctiildren of Israel fled before Judali. It is quite likely that 
the appeal of Abijcah may have caused some searchiiigs of heart and 
wavering among the children of Israel ; the idolatry was too recently 
established for them to have altogether acquiesced in going no longer to 
Jerusalem ; although a larger arni^^ they lied before the religious courage 
and unity of Jiulah. 

17. Five hundred thousand chosen men. This is clearly impossible. 
Either, as often, the copyist has made a mistake in the number ('five 
tliousand ' has been suggested) ; or else it is a statement in round numbers 
of those who fell during the whole war. 

19. Beth-el must have l^ecn recovered soon afterwards, for it appears 
again as the centre of the calf -worship. 

Jeshanah is unknown. 

Ephrain, or Kphron, is perhaps the Ephraim of S. John xi. 54. 

22. The story. The Hebrew word is ' midrash,' a word which became 
familiar after the Captivity as the name of the different commentaries of 
the Jewish doctors upon tlie Law of Moses. 


XIV. 1. So Abijali slept with his fathers, and they buried 
him in the city of David : and Asa his son reigned in his 
stead. In his days the land was quiet ten years, 2. And 
Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the 
Lord his God : 3. For he took away the altars of the strange 
gods, and the high places, and brake down the ' images, 7 pillars. 
and cut down the ^ groves. 4. And commanded Judah to s Asherim. 
seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to do the law and 
the commandment. 5. Also he took away out of all the 
cities of Judah the high places and the ^ images : and the 9 sun-images. 
kingdom was quiet before him. 6. And he built fenced 
cities in Judah : for the laud had rest, and he had no war 
in those years ; because the Lord had given him rest. 
7. Therefore he said unto Judah, Let us build these cities, 
and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars, 
ivhile the land is yet before us ; because we have sought 
the Lord our God, we have sought him, and he hath given 
US rest on every side. So they built and prospered. 8. And 
Asa had an army of men that bare targets and spears, out 
of Judah three hundred thousand ; and out of Benjamin, 
that bare shields and drew bows, two hundred and four- 
score thousand : all these ivere mighty men of valour. 9. 
And there came out against them Zerah the Ethioj^ian with 
an host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots ; 
and came unto '^ Mareshah. 10. Then Asa went out against d Josh. xv. 44. 
him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of 

XIV. 5. The images. These ' sun-images ' (R. Y. ) may have been obelisks 
in honour of the sun-god, or merely hearths, on which a sacred fire was 
kept alight in honour of some god, like the fire sacred to Vesta at 

8. Targets and spears ai-e apparently the equipment of the heavy armed 
infantry of the line, like the ' hoplites ' of the ancient Greeks ; while 
shields and bows would be proper to lighter troops. The men of Ecajamiu 
(Judges XX. IG) were famous for their skill in the use of the sling. Moun- 
tainous country, of course, favours this style of warfare. 

9. Zerah the Ethiopian. It is uncertain -irho this invader was. Some 
suppose him to have heen an Egyptian, Aviih which supposition the pres- 
ence of chariots in the army agrees ; others, an Arabian, as Cash was the 
ancestor of certain Arabian tribes (Gen. x. 7), and the word rendered 
* Ethiopian ' is really ' Cushite.' 

94 2 CHRON. XIII. ; XIV. ; XV. ; XVI. 

Zephathah at Mareshah. 11. And Asa cried unto the 

ill there is none LoRD his God, and said, Lord, ^° it is nothing ^Yith thee to 

beside thee to • i i i i 

help between help, 'rhether With many, or with them that have no 

the mighty and /-< i r i. ^i 

him that hath power help US, O LoRD our God ; tor we rest on thee, 

leng 1. ^^^^ j^ ^j^^^ name we go against this multitude. Lord, 

thou art our God ; let not man prevail against thee. 12. 

So the Lord smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before 

Judah ; and the Ethiopians fled. 13. And Asa and the 

11 and there fell people that were with him pursued them unto Gerar: ^^ and 

pians so many the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not 

^ ' recover themselves ; for they were destroyed before the 

Lord, and before his host ; and they carried away very 

much spoil. 14. And they smote all the cities round about 

e Gen. xxxv. 5. Gerar ; for '^ the fear of the Lord came upon them : and 

they spoiled all the cities ; for there Avas exceeding much 

spoil in them. 15. They smote also the tents of cattle, and 

carried away sheep and camels in abundance, and returned 

to Jerusalem. 

/Nura.xxiv. 2; XV. 1. And -^ the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the 

chap. xx'. 14,' son of Oded : 2. And he went out to meet Asa, and said 

xxiv 20 

unto him. Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin ; 
g s. James iv. ^ The LoRD is with you, while ye be with him ; and '' if ye 
h s. Matt. vii. Seek him, he will be found of you ; but if ye forsake him, 

he will forsake you. 3. Now for a long season Israel hath 
Mai. ii. 7. ' been without the true God, and without ' a teaching priest, 

15. The tents of cattle. This is au obscure expression, and perhaps 
the proper reading would be the name of some tribe. 

XV. 1. And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah. This is one of the 
many interesting passages iii the Old Testament where the personal 
action of God the Holy Ghost is spoken of. He ' spake by the prophets ' 
on various occasions and in various waj^s (of. Heb. i. 1) ; but His full 
inspiration, and permanent indwelling were reserved for the times of 
Christ. He now dwells with and speaks in the Church permanently, 
giving each member of the Church guidance and strength according to 
his needs ; besides guiding the Church as a whole into ' all the truth.' 

3. Now for a long season, Apparenth^ verses 3-6 are parenthetical 
and the words of tlio writer himself, intended to show the need for such 
an exliortation as that of Azariali. The prophet's actual words are re- 
sumed in vcr. 7. 

Without a teaching priest. The Old Testament ideal of the priesthood 


and without law. 4. But when they in their trouble did 

turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was 

found of them. 5. And in those times there was no peace 

to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great 

vexations ivere upon all the inhabitants of the countries. 

6. ^2 And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city : ^- ^^^ ^l^^y . 
•^ ' ./ ./ ^ were broken in 

for God did vex them with all adversity. 7. Be ye strong pieces, nation 

against nation, 
therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work and city against 

shall be rewarded. 8. And when Asa heard these words, 

and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, 

and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of 

Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had 

taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the 

Lord, that was before the porch of the Lord. 9. And he 

gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and ^^ the strangers with ^^ them that 
^ J J o sojourned. 

them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon : 

for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they 

saw that the Lord his God tvas with him. 10. So they 

gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third 

month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11. And 

they oflered unto the Lord the same time, of the spoil 

which they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven 

thousand sheep. 12. And •'they entered into a covenants 2Kingsxxiii 

. Neh. X. 

to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart 

and with all their soul ; 13. ^"That whosoever would not seek k Exod. xxii. 

the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether e-i'i. 

was that it sliould be an institution for teaching, giving moral instruc- 
tion, and explaining the Law to suit different needs, and not merely 
engaged in sacrifice and worship. See the blessing of Levi, Deut. xxxiii., 
and the marginal references. 

7. Be ye strong therefore. It is important to notice how frequently in 
the Bible this exhortation is given. God's call and His effectual grace 
demand human resj^onse. Our most earnest and bravest efforts are needed 
to co-operate with God's help. ' The fearful ' rank with the worst 
sinners, and are cast out of the heavenly city (Rev. xxi. 8). 

8. Oded the prophet. There is evidently here some mistake in the 
text, as the prophets name was Azariah. Some copyist no doubt missed 
out the name, and his error, with Jewish conservatism, was repeated 
until it became impossible to correct it. 



small or great, whether man or woman. 14. And they sware 
unto the Lord with a loud voice, and with shouting, and 
with trumpets, and with cornets. 15. And all Judah rejoiced 
at the oath : for they had sworn with all their heart, and 
sought him with their whole desire ; and he was found of 
them : and the Lord gave them rest round about. 16. And 
also concerning Maachah the mother of Asa the king, he 
removed her from being queen, because she had made ^^ an 
idol in a grove ; and Asa cut down her idol, and ^^ stamped 
it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron. 17. But the high 
places were not taken away out of Israel : nevertheless the 
heart of Asa was perfect all his days. 18. And he brought 
into the house of God the things that his father had dedi- 
cated, and that he himself had dedicated, silver, and gold, 
and vessels. 19. And there was no 77iore war unto the five 
and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa. 

XVI. 1. In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa 
Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built 
Kamah, to the intent that he might let none go out or come 
in to Asa king of Judah. 2. Then Asa brouoht out silver 

14 an abomin- 
able image for 
an Asherah. 

15 made dust 
of it. 

16. He removed her from being queen, i.e. from the position of ' queen- 
mother ' (R.V. margin), which was a very honourable one among Oriental 

1 7. But the high places were not taken away out of Israel. This expres- 
sion appears inconsistent with xiv. 3, but very likely it refers to some- 
thing different. Asa may have taken away those high places where 
worship was offered to other gods, but left those where Jehovah was wor- 
shipped. These latter were, of course, unauthorised, and were superseded 
by the Temple, yet they long retained the affections of the people. 

The heart of Asa was perfect. This does not mean that Asa was morally 
perfect, but that he gave an undivided loyalty, as David had done, and 
Solomon had not done, to Jehovah, the God of Israel. 

XVI. 1. In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa. Here again 
there must be some corruption in the text ; for, according to 1 Kings xvi., 
Elah, and not Baasha, would be reigning at this time. It has been sug- 
gested that the writer's meaning was that this attack from Baasha took 
place in the thirty-sixth year after the division of the kingdoms, which 
would be the sixteenth year of Asa's reigu. 

Ramah. There are eight different places which may correspond to 
the ancient llamah (Stanley's Sinai and Paleatine, pp. 224-25). 'It is, 
without exception, the most complicated and disputed problem of sacred 
topography.' Most probably it is the modern er-Ram, a commanding 


and gold out of the treasures of the house of the Lord and 
of the king's house, and sent to Ben-hadad king of Syria, 
that dwelt at Damascus, saying, 3. There is a league 
between me and thee, as there was between my father and 
thy father : behold, I have sent thee silver and gold ; go, 
break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may 
dejxirt from me. 4. And Ben-hadad hearkened unto king 
Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities 
of Israel ; and they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abel-maim, 
and all the store cities of Naphtali. 5. And it came to 
pass, when Baasha heard it, that he left off building of 
Ramah, and let his work cease. 6. Then Asa the king 
took all Judah ; and they carried away the stones of 
Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha was 
building ; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah. 7. 
And at that time ' Hanani the seer came to Asa king of l i Kings xvi. i. 
Judah, and said unto him, '" Because thou hast relied on the m isa. xxxi. i. 
king of Syria, and not relied on the Lord thy God, there- 
fore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine 
hand. 8. Were not " the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge n chap. xiv. 9. 
host, with very many chariots and horsemen ? yet, because 

hill on the road from Jerusalem to Beth-el, about two hours' journey 
north of Jerusalem — a spot where a hostile fortress would be a constant 
menace and trouble to the southern kingdom. 

4. And all the store cities of Naphtali. In 1 Kings xv. 20, ' All Cinneroth, 
with all the land of Naphtali,' i.e. the region of northern Galilee, to the 
west and north of the Sea of Galilee. Cf. Isa. ix. 1. 

6. He built therewith Geba and Mizpah. These are on the northern 
frontier of Benjamin ; the building of the two fortresses was a retaliation 
upon Baasha in his own kind. 

7. Because thou hast relied on the king- of Syria. This reproof of 
Hanani's is in keeping with those constantly given in later history by the 
prophets, e.g. by Isaiah respecting Egypt (xxx. xxxi.), and by Hosea in 
the case of both Egypt and Assyria (vii. 11 ; xiv. 3). Even from a worldly 
point of view, it was bad policy to invite the intervention of a stronger 
and unscrupulous neighbour. But the point which the inspired prophets 
emphasise is that the kingdom of David is different from the kingdom of 
the heathen. It rests on the promises of Almighty God. His protection 
is sufficient, and He will work out His own purposes if men will trust 
Him. To invite the help of a heathen power was practically an act of 
disbelief in God. 



2 CHROX. XIII. ; XIV. ; XV. ; XVI. 

o Job. xxxiv. 
21 ; Prov. XV. 
3 ; Ps. cxxxix, 

p Jer. XX. 2. 

thou didst rely on the Lord, he delivered them into thine 
hand. 9. For " the eyes of the Lord run to and fro through- 
out the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf 
of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou 
hast done foolishly : therefore from henceforth thou shalt 
have wars. 10. Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and 
^ put him in a prison house ; for h e was in a rage with him 
because of this thing. And Asa oppressed some of the 
people the same time. 11. And, behold, the acts of Asa, 
first and last, lo, they are written in the book of the kings 
of Judah and Israel. 12. And Asa in the thirty and ninth 
year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease 
was exceeding great : yet in his disease he sought « not to 
the Lord, but to the physicians. 13. And Asa slept with 
his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his 
reign. 14. And they buried him in his own sepulchres, 
which he had made for himself in the city of David, and 
laid him in the bed which was filled with '" sweet odours and 
divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries' art ; 
and ®they made a very great burning for him. 

q Jer. xvii. 5. 

r S. John xix. 
39, 40. 

s Jer. xxxiv. 

10. A prison house. Literally 'a house of stocks,' some place of close 
and torturing coutinenient, such as Jeremiah was placed in by Pashur 
(XX. 2). 

12, He sought not to the LORD, hut to the physicians. This is not 
meant as a condeiiiuation of physicians, for their art is a gift of God. 
But Asa displayed the same spirit as he had formerly done in relying 
on Syria ratlier than on God. Tlie use of medicine without prayer may 
be efficacious, but it cannot be a real blessing. The nine ungrateful lepers 
of S. Luke xvii. received no blessing, though outwardly they were 
healed. In the case of Asa, God's disapproval was visibly shown by the 
inability of the physicians to save him. 

14. And they made a very great burning for him. It was the custom 
of the ancient Jews not only to lay the dead to rest in fine linen with 
aromatic spices, but also to burn some of these spices as a token of respect 
to the dead, a custom somewhat analogous to the burning of incense 
in the worship of God. The amount of such * burning ' would vary 
according to the position and popularity of the dead. It was never the 
custom of the Jews to l)urn the dead. Even in Amos vi. 10, ' he that 
burnetii him,' probably refers to the chief mourner, whose duty it was to 
burn the spices. 




Confidence, True and False 


1. Abijah's confidence. 

Abijali was not an ideal charactei' 
(see account of him in 1 Kings xv. ) ; 
nevertheless, at a great crisis, he 
shows religious insight into the true 
grounds of confidence. Although 
his fighting strength is only half 
that of Jeroboam, he boldly faces 
his enemies, and tells them on what 
he really relies. 

(1) The promises of God to David. 
He recognises himself as the true 
sovereign, the heir of the promises, 
who could still claim rightly the 
allegiance of all Israel. 

(2) The maintenance of true re- 
ligion. Abijah is conscious of 
loyalty to the Divine ordinances. 
He can point to a legitimate priest- 
hood, and the due observance of the 
daily sacrifices and the service of 
the Temple. 

(3) The presence of God with his 
people — ' God Himself is with us 
for our captain.' This conscious- 
ness had been the strength of all 
the saints : by it Moses was strong 
to endure the journey in the wilder- 
ness, and Joshua to conquer Cauaan, 
and in aftertime Isaiah triumphantly 
prophesied of Immanuel, ' God with 
us,' as the strength of Israel against 
every enemy. 

2. Asa's confidence. 

In the earlier part of his reign 
Asa shows the same true confidence. 
When he seemed on the point of 
being overwhelmed by the hosts of 
Ethiopian invaders, he prays Avith 
full trust in God Who can help 
' those who have no strength ' : he 
trusts in Him as 'our God,' who 
will not suffer mere force to prevail. 


1. Show on a map the compara- 
tive insignificance of the kingdom 
of Judah beside that of Israel. 
The northern kingdom was more 
prosperous — Jeroboam had more 
soldiers, and probably much more 

Yet Abijah is not afraid. Why ? 
He trusts in God's promise. Refer 
to 2 Sam. vii. He knows that he 
and his people are careful to wor- 
ship God in the way that He had 

Contrast the Temple with the 
shrines of Beth-el and Dan ; the 
priests — the sons of Aaron — with 
the sham priests of Jeroboam. 

Most important of all, Abijah 
trusts in the living God, who is 
ivith him. Explain that this is 
a type of the confidence of the 
Catholic Church, which we know 
can never fail, because God is with 
us in His Son Jesus Christ, who is 
both God and man, and so called 
' Immanuel ' (Isa. vii. ; S. Matt, ii.) ; 
and by His Holy Spirit, Who is to 
abide with the Church for ever. 

Refer to our Lord's parting pro- 
mise (S. Matt, xxviii. 20). 

2. Describe the onslaught of the 
Ethiopians, and Asa's prayer. 

Speak of prayer as always the 
strength of God's people when 
attacked by enemies. 
Refer to — 

Pss. xxvii. 3; cxviii. 10-12. 
Heb. xi. 34. 


2 CHRON. XIII. ; XIV. ; XV. ; XVI. 

Lesson X — continued. Confidence, Tiiue and False 
Matter. Method. 

»So again in answer to the prophecy 
of Azariah, he shows the same spirit 
of reliance npon God. He ' took 
courage,' and bravely carried out a 
religious reformation, even when it 
touched his own family, destroying 
the idols, and leading his people to 
enter into a covenant ' to seek the 
Lord God of their fathers.' 

Refer to the words of Azariah 
(xv. 2), and show that God's pre- 
sence with us depends on our 
willingness to obey Him. 

Illustrate from Asa's reformation. 

3. Asa's false confidence. 

Prosperity seems to have had an 
evil effect upon Asa. The latter 
years of his life show a singular 
contrast with his early faith. When 
threatened by the hostile fortress 
of Baasha, he turns to trust (1) in 
the power of money — ^sacrificing 
even the treasures of the Temple ; 
(2) in the arm of man — seeking 
the alliance of a dangerous heathen 
neighbour, whom policy even should 
have kept at a distance. 

The holy writer notes the same 
spirit of reliance in man even in 
Asa's conduct in his last illness. 
He trusted in human skill rather 
than in God. He who had prayed 
before the battle with Zerah, for- 
gets to pray when disease is upon 
him. ' He sought not to the Lord, 
but to the physicians.' 

3. Point out the folly of trusting 
in money. Asa could buy the help 
of Ben-hadad ; but there was some- 
thing much greater that no money 
could bu}^ — the favour and help of 
God ; these he lost — ' Therefore from 
henceforth thou shalt have wars.' 

Explain that though the skill of 
physicians is from God, and we 
ought to obey their instructions, 
yet all healing really comes from 
God (cf. 1 Cor. xii. 9). Along Avith 
all medicine we should use sprayer. 

Asa's sin was not that he sought 
to the physicians, but that he put 
them in the place of God. 



Blackboard Ski:tch. 

Confidence, True and False. 

1. True confidence in face of danger shown by — 

(1) Ahijah, who trusted in — 

[a) God's promises, 

[h) Obedience to God's Law, 

(c) God's presence with His people. 

(2) Asa, who before his battle, prayed ; 

after his victory, tried to do God's 
will better than before. 

2. False confidence seen in — 

Asa, in his old age, who trusted in — 

(1) Money, 

(2) The strength of man, 

(3) The skill of man. 

All these things may be good ; but their good- 
ness comes from God alone. 

Learn—' Our help is in the Name of the Lord ; 
Who hath made heaven and earth.' 

102 1 KINGS XV. 25-34 : XVI. 

1 KINGS XV. 25-34; XVI. 

AND Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over 
Israel in the second year of Asa king of Jndah, 
and reigned over Israel two years. 26. And he 
did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way 
of his father, and in his sin where Avith he made Israel to 
sin. 27. And Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of 
Issachar, conspired against him ; and Baasha smote him at 
a Josh. xix. " Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines ; for Nadab 

44 • xxi. 23 

and all Israel laid siege to Gibbethon. 28. Even in the 

third year of Asa king of Jndah did Baasha slay him, and 

1 As soon as he reigned in his stead. 29. And it came to pass, ^ when he 
was kino'. 

reigned, that he smote all the house of Jeroboam ; he left 

not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed 
h chap. xiv. 10. him, according unto ^ the saying of the Lord, which he 
spake by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite : 30. Because 
of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he 
made Israel sin, by his provocation wherewith he pro- 
voked the Lord God of Israel to anger. 31. Now the 
rest of the acts of Nadab, and all that he did, are they not 
written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel ? 
32. And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of 
Israel all their days. 33. In the third year of Asa king of 
Judah began Baasha the son of Ahijah to reign over all 
Israel in Tirzah, twenty and four years. 34. And he did 
evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of 
Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin. 

26. Walked in tlie way of his father, i.e. he continued, as did all 
subsequent kings of the northern kingdom, in the idolatrous worship of 
Jehovah under the form of the golden calves. No real reformation was 
possible while this continued. The sacred historian points it out as the 
real centre of the national sin, although the worship of Baal for a time 
was more prominent and flagrant. 

27. Gibbethon, a Lcvitical city of tlie tribe of Dan, which apparently 
had fallen into the hands of the neighlwuring I'hili.stines. 


XVI. 1. Then the word of the Lord came to ^ Jehu the c 2 Chron. xix. 
son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, 2. Forasmuch as I " ' ' * 
exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee prince over 
my people Israel ; and thou hast walked in the way of 
Jeroboam, and hast made my people Israel to sin, to pro- 
voke me to anger with their sins ; 3. Behold, ^ I will take - l will utterly 
away the posterity of Baasha, and the posterity of his Baasha and his 


house ; and will make thy house like the house of Jero- 
boam the son of Nebat. 4. Him that dieth of Baasha in 
the city shall the dogs eat ; and him that dieth of his in 
the fields shall the fowls of the air eat. 5. Now the rest 
of the acts of Baasha, and what he did, and his might, 
are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the 
kings of Israel ? 6. So Baasha slept with his fathers, and 
was buried in Tirzah : and Elah his son reigned in his 
stead. 7. And also by the hand of the prophet Jehu the 
son of Hanani came the word of the Lord against Baasha, 

and ao-ainst his house, ^ even for all the evil that he did in ^ both because 

® .of. 

the sight of the Lord, * in provoking him to anger with 4 to provoke 

the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jero- 
boam ; and because he ^ killed him. 8. In the twenty and -5 smote, 
sixth year of Asa king of Judah began Elah the son of 

XVI. 2. I exalted thee out of tlie dust. Baasha's coming to the throne 
of Israel was divinely ordered for the punishment of the house of 
Jeroboam. Prol)ably, like Jeroboam himself, he had received some 
intimation to this effect from a prophet. Had he realised what that 
Divine calling really meant, and striven to purify Israel, his kingdom 
would have continued. As it is, he is warned of the judgment of God in 
the identical terms in which Jeroboam had been denounced (xiv. 10). 

7. In provoking him to anger with the work of his hands. The fact 
that we are the work of God's hands is always alleged in Scripture as a 
ground of hope in God's mercy. See the pathetic appeals of Job (x. 8 ; 
xiv. 15), and compare Isaiah Ivii. 16 and Wisdom ix. 24-26. Therefore 
that God should be angry with the work of His hands implies special and 
deliberate provocation. 

And because he killed him. The reference must be, of course, to the 
son of Jeroboam, Nadab ; and the meaning is either that Baasha showed 
unnecessary cruelty in executing the divine judgments, or else that his 
usurping of the throne was counted as a sin, seeing that he had not 
justified it by destroying the idolatries of those whose place he had 

104 1 KINGS XV. 25-34 ; XVI. 

Baasha to reign over Israel in Tirzah, two years. 9. And 

his servant Zimri, captain of half his chariots, conspired 

against him, as he was in Tirzah, drinking himself drunk 

in the house of Arza steward of his house in Tirzah. 10. 

d 2 Kings ix. And '^ Zimri went in and smote him, and killed him, in the 
31. ' ' 

twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned 

in his stead. 11. And it came to pass, when he began to 

reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the 

6 he left him house of Baasha : ^ he left him not one that j)isseth against 
man child. a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends. 12. Thus 

did Zimri destroy all the house of Baasha, according to the 
word of the Lord, which he spake against Baasha by Jehu 
the prophet, 13. For all the sins of Baasha, and the sins 
of Elah his son, by which they sinned, and by which they 
made Israel to sin, in provoking the Lord God of Israel 
to anger with their vanities, 14. Now the rest of the 
acts of Elah, and all that he did, are they not written in 
the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel ? 15. In 
the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah did 
Zimri reign seven days in Tirzah. And the people ivere 
encamped against Gibbethon, which heloiujed to the Philis- 
tines. 16. And the people that were encamped heard 
say, Zimri hath conspired, and hath also slain the king : 
wherefore all Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, 
king over Israel that day in the camp. 17. And Omri 
went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and 
they besieged Tirzah. 18. And it came to pass, when Zimri 

7 castle. saw that the city was taken, that he went into the " palace 

of the king's house, and burnt the king's house over him 

13. With their vanities, i.e. with their idols, whicli are expressively 
called ' vain ' or ' empty ' — things with no reality or wortli iu them. Cf. 
S. Paul's words, 1 Cor. viii. 4 : 'An idol is nothing in the world' — i.e. 
there is no real existence corresponding to the carved representation. 

16. All Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, king. It is very 
characteristic of a disordered state that the appointment of rulers sliould 
fall into the hands of the army. tSucli was frequently the case in the 
weaker days of tlie Roman empire ; and in England the same liappened 
after the martyrdom of King Charles i. 


with fire, and died, 19. For his sins which he sinned in 
doing evil in the sight of the Lord, in walking in the way 
of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he did, to make Israel 
to sin. 20. Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and his 
treason that he Avrought, are they not written in the book 
of the chronicles of the kings of Israel ? 21. Then were the 
people of Israel divided into two parts : half of the people 
followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king ; 
and half followed Omri. 22. But the people that followed 
Omri prevailed against the people that followed Tibni the 
son of Ginath : so Tibni died, and Omri reigned. 23. In 
the thirty and first year of Asa king of Judah began Omri 
to reign over Israel, twelve years : six years reigned he in 
Tirzah. 24. And he bought the hill Samaria of Shemer 
for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called 
the name of the city which he built, after the name of 
Shemer, owner of the hill, Samaria. 25. But " Omri wrought e Micah vi. 16. 

19. For his sins which he sinned. Zimri, although he reigned only 
seven days, had evidently shown the same spirit as his predecessors. 
Probably he had begun his reign by sacrificing to the golden calves. 

22. So Tibni died, and Omri reigned. This epigrammatic sentence 
expresses exactly the nature of civil strife in ancient days. Defeat meant 
inevitable death. Each rival was fighting for himself, not for principle 
or for the good of the state, and it was the natural course of the victor to 
blot out the vanquished. 

24. Two talents of silver, about £800. A talent of silver was three 
thousand shekels. 

Samaria, spelt in Hebrew ' Shomeron.' This place became much more 
famous as a capital than either Shechem or Tirzah. There is an interest- 
ing account of Samaria and its later history in G. A. Smith's Historical 
Geographi/ of the Holy Land, pp. 346-350. It became the capital of 
Herod under the new name of Sebaste ; and was restored by the Cru- 
saders, who built a cathedral there — now in ruins. 'Although the 
mountains surround and overlook it on three sides, Samaria commands a 
great view to the west. The broad vale is visible for eight miles, then a 
low range of hills, and over them the sea. It is a position out of the way 
of most of the kiugdom, of which the centre of gravity lay upon the 
eastern slope ; but it was wisely chosen by a dynasty whose strength 
was alliance with Phcenicia. The coast is but twenty-three miles aAvay — 
the sea is in sight. In her palace in Samaria Jezebel can have felt neither 
far from her home nor from the symbols of her ancestral faith. There 
flashed the path of her father's galleys, and there each night her people's 

106 1 KINGS XV. 25-34 ; XVI. 

evil in tlie eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all that 
were before him. 26. For he walked in all the way of Jero- 
boam the son of Nebat, and in his sin wherewith he made 
Israel to sin, to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger 
with their vanities. 27. Now the rest of the acts of Omri 
which he did, and his might that he showed, are they not 
written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 
28. So Omri slept with his fothers, and was buried in 
Samaria : and Ahab his son reigned in his stead. 29. 
And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah 
began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel : and 
Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria 
twenty and two years. 30. And Ahab the son of Omri did 
evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him. 
31. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for 
him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, 
that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king 
of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and wor- 
shipped him. 32. And he reared up an altar for Baal in 
the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. 33. 
8 the Asherah. And Ahab made ^a grove; and Ahab did more to pro- 
voke the Lord God of Israel to auger than all the kings of 
Israel that were before him. 34. In his days did Hiel the 
Beth-elite build Jericho : he laid the foundation thereof 

god sank to his rest in the same glory, betAvixt sky and sea, which they 
were worshipping in Tyre' {I.e. p. 346). 

3L Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal. This marriage marks a turning- 
point for evil in the history of the northern kingdom ; and indirectly 
also in Judah, for Athaliah was Jezebel's daughter. Ethljaal, as 
his name implies ('man of Baal'), was specially connected with the 
religion of Baal, and tradition says that he had also been priest of 
Astarte ])efore he usurped the throne. Jezebel's endeavour was not 
like that of the wives of Solomon, merely to establish the worship of 
Baal side by side with that of Jehovah, but to oust the latter altogetlier. 
Jezebel, so vividly described in the subsequent chapter, was one of the 
remarkalJe women of ancient liistory. She com])ined wickedness and 
sensuality with great strength of character and self-will. It is interest- 
ing to note that she came of the same race as Dido, founder of Carthage, 
and was most probably her contemporary. 

34. In his days did Hiel the Beth-elite build Jericho. It is significant 


^in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof '■'in a with the loss 

his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, 

■^ which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun. / josh. vi. 20. 

that he who showed this disregard of a Divine pi'ohibition should come 
from the city which was most prominent for its idolatry. The curse 
was literally fulfilled, though how precisely wc are not told. Probably 
all Hiel's children died between the refounding of Jericho and its com- 
pletion. Kiel's act was pi'ofane and sacrilegious, and his sin was 
visited on his children ; just as it has always been believed in England 
that the sacrilege of those families who in the sixteenth century stole the 
abbey lands and tithes from the service of God has been visited on their 
descendants. It is clear that, whether the book of Joshua was in exist- 
ence in its present shape or not at the time of writing this history, the 
facts it records were well known. 

The Results of Disobedience 

Introductiox. — This melancholy record of the short and evil reigns of 
the successors of Jeroboam is hardly suitable for a detailed lesson. At 
the same time its chief points illustrate the fulfilment of prophecy, 
and the certainty that a man's sin never stops with himself, but 
produces evil fruit in the lives of others far beyond his own control. 
It might also be pointed out to older children that there are always 
tM'o sides to history, one being the record of events as man sees them 
and writes them down, tlie other the record which God is writing in 
His book. The Bible history, being inspired by the Holy Ghost, shows 
us something of this inner meaning — what are the really important 
events in God's sight, and what events are really Divine rewards or 
punishments. Cf. 2 Chron. xvi. 9. 

This section might be summarised as follows : — 

1. Nadab, son of Jeroboam, two years' reign. In accordance with the 
prophecy of Ahijah (xiv. 14) both he and all the posterity of Jeroboam 
are destroj'ed by the usurper Baasha. 

2. Baasha, unable to read the Divine lesson, persists in the idolatry of 
Jeroboam. The same curse is pronounced, therefore, upon him by another 
prophet, Jehu. 

3. Elah, son of Baasha, after a reign of two years, destroyed by another 
usurper, Zimri. Elah added sin to sin. It was while he was ' drinking 
himself drunk ' that the prophesied blow fell upon him. 

4. Zimri, after a reign of one M'eek only, in which, however, he had 
shown no intention of departing from the sin of Jeroboam, is burnt to 
death by his own hand in his palace. 


1 KINGS XV. 25-34 ; XVI. 

o. Omri, a powerful king as the Avorld counted him (cf. xvi. 27, ' his 
might that he showed '), is written down in the book of God simply as 
an evil-doer and a follower in the steps of Jeroboam. 

6. Ahab, with his long, powerful, and magnificent reign, as it probablj'^ 
appeared to his contemporaries (see xxii. 39), is written down by God as 
the author of a worse sin — the inti'oduction of the worship of Baal, in 
addition to the golden calves. 

The general disregard of God's will is shown also in such an event as 
the rebuilding of Jericho by Hiel. 

Blackboard Sketch. 

In the eyes of man all 



different ; some success- 


In the eyes of God all 

ful, others not ; some 


alike; they 'did that 

w^eak, others powerful, 

which w^as evil in the 

warriors, builders of 


sight of the Lord.' 

cities and palaces. 






ND Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the ^ inhabitants ^ sojourners. 
of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of 
Israel liveth, before whom I stand, " there shall not « S. James v. 
be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. 25.' 

1. Elijah the Tishbite. There is no more remarkable figure in the 
Old Testament than Elijah. No explanation is given of his call, no 
account of his previous life. He appears with the suddenness of a 
thunderbolt on the field of history : superhuman in grandeur and 
moral force, and yet pathetically human in temper and character. 
All that we know of him is the series of dramatic episodes which form 
the latter part of 1 Kings, ending even more strangely than they began 
in his miraculous translation into heaven. His reappearance was fore- 
told in prophecy, and expected by the Jews. S. John the Baptist was 
his typical successor, but both the words of Christ and the general belief 
of the early Church point to an actual coming of Elijah again before the 
Second Advent. Though neither by word nor writing is he recorded to 
have prophesied of the Messiah, a still greater honour was reserved for 
him. His glorified form appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration, along 
with that of Moses, to bear witness to the Son of God. See note on 
2 Kings ii. 11. 

Tishbite. The meaning of this is uncertain, as no place called Tishbi 
is known. Some suppose it to have been in Gilead, tlie region beyond 
Jordan. But if the rendering of the Revised Version is correct, Elijah 
must have been 'sojourning' in Gilead at some distance from his native 
home. Many scholars, however, suppose that the word simply means 
'stranger,' and that the whole phrase should be rendered, 'Elijah the 
stranger, one of the strangers of Gilead.' 

As the LORD God of Israel liveth. This was the most solemn form 
of oath, and could only mean in this case that God had revealed to the 
prophet, with absolute clearness and certainty, the future drought. 
S. James speaks of Elijah having 'prayed' for this Divine judgment, 
and Avithout doubt tlie answer to his prayer had been shown to him by 

Before whom I stand. This was a regular phrase for the special service 
of God which a prophet performed. He ' stood before God ' as His 
mouthpiece and minister, to declare His will. So we read that Jonah 
attempted 'to flee from the presence of the Lord,' i.e. from standing 
before Him as a prophet. He tried to retire from his prophetical office. 

There shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according- to my 
word. Drought in any country is a great affiiction, but in Eastern lands 
it means almost absolute starvation, so utterly dependent is the soil 
upon the regularly recurring seasons of rainfall. The rain of Palestine 
is always spoken of in the Old Testament as peculiarly a gift of God 
(Deut. xi. 11, 14); and its withdrawal as an unmistakable Divine judgment 
{ibid. 17, and Amos iv. 7). This drought, which lasted three years and 


2. And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, 3. 
Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself hj 
the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 4. And it shall 
be, that thou shalt drink of the brook ; and I have com- 
manded the ravens to feed thee there. 5. So he went and 
did according unto the word of the Lord : for he m ent 
and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 
6. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the 
morning, and bread and flesh in the evening ; and he 
drank of the brook. 7. And it came to pass after a while, 
that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in 
the land. 8. And the word of the Lord came unto him, 
saying, 9. Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongcth 
to Zidon, and dwell there : behold I have commanded a 
widow woman there to sustain thee. 10. So he arose and 
S. Luke iv.'20. went to ^ Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the 

a half (S. Luke iv. 25, and S. James v. 17), was a punishment intended to 
call Israel to repentance at this moment of national apostasy. Elijah was 
its instrument both of visitation and withdrawal, not, of course, by his 
own power, but as the minister of God (of. Rev. xi. 6). 

3. The brook Cherith. This place, whose name means 'separation,' 
is unknown, but there are man^^ such hidden gullies running into the 
Jordan, where in winter there is a mountain torrent, which in summer is 
dry. These ravines are full of caves, and form natural hiding-places. 

4. I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. The extra- 
ordinar}^ character of this miracle has led some to imagine that the word 
'ravens' has been misunderstood, that it is really the name of some 
Arabian tribe. But this is very improl)able in itself. Readers of the 
Lives of the Saints will remember the extraordinary influence that 
great holiness of life has often had upon the lower creation. The saint 
literally has often seemed to be 'at peace with the beasts of the field' 
(Job V. 23, cf. Isa. xi. G-10). S. Jerome was accompanied by a tame 
lion ; S. Hugh of Lincoln by a swan ; it is beautifully recorded of the 
death of S. Columba that 'a faithful horse came up to him, and placed 
his head in his lap, and wept like a man.' S. Francis of Assisi was par- 
ticularly noted for his love of animals and his extraordinary influence 
over them. 

9. Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon. See the comment on this 
incident in S. Luke iv. It seems that this, like the feeding by the 
ravens, was part of God's education of Elijah, that he might learn never 
to despair of the power of (Jod. The unclean birds first sustained him, 
and then a miserably poor widow belonging to a nation of idolaters. 
Both these events lead up to the teaching of chap. xix. 18. 


city, behold, the widow woman ivas there gathering of 

sticks : and he called to her, and said. Fetch me, I pray 

thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11. And 

as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, 

Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 

12. And she said. As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not 

a cake, but a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil 

in a cruse : and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that 

I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may 

eat it, and die. 13. And Elijah said unto her. Fear not ; go 

and do as thou hast said : but make me thereof a little cake 

first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for 

thy son. 14. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The 

barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of 

oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the 

earth. 15. And she went and did according to the saying 

of Elijah : and she, and he, and her house, did eat mamj 

days. 16. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did 

the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, 

which he spake by Elijah. 17. And it came to pass after 

these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of 

the house, fell sick ; and his sickness was so sore, that 

there was no breath left in him. 18. And she said unto 

Elijah, What have I to do with thee, thou man of God ? 

art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and 

to slay my son ? 19. And he said unto her, Give me thy 

son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him 

up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own 

bed. 20. And he cried unto the Lord, and said, Lord 

my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow 

with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son ? 21. And he 

18. Art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance ? There is 
no need to suppose that any particular sin is referred to, any more than 
in the similar case of 8. Peter (S. Luke v.). This calamity awakens in 
the woman's conscience a nearer sense of God's presence, and of man's 
unholiness in His sight. She associates this with the presence of the 
man of God. The incident recalls curiously the attitude of the Gadarenes 
towards our Lord (S. Matt. viii. 34). 

112 1 KINGS XVII. 

o2Kiugsiv. "^Stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried 

34 35. 

unto the Lord, and said, Lord my God, I pray thee, let 
this child's soul come into him again. 22. And the Lord 
heard the voice of Elijah ; and the soul of the child came 
into him again, and he revived. 23. And Elijah took the 
child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the 
d Heb. xi, 35. house, and '^ delivered him unto his mother : and Elijah 
said. See, thy son liveth. 24. And the woman said to 
Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, 
and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth. 

22. And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah. This is the first miracle 
of raising the dead recorded in Holy Scripture. It is important to notice 
that it was in direct answer to fervent prayer. Jewish tradition says 
that the child thus raised became afterwards the prophet Jonah. 


God's Providence 

Introduction. — The general aim suggested in this lesson is to show 
the loving care and providence of God in all tliat pertains to His gracious 
purposes ; and especially to point oixt that "when men obey God (in con- 
trast with the disobedience of the previous lesson), all things necessary 
are given them — ' all things work together for good ' for them. 

^Matter. Method. 

1. God's providence for Elijah. 1. This picture of Elijah's pre- 

Klijah, like S. John Baptist, was servation may be vividlv described, 

a man absolutely devoted to God. ^^^ ^^^^^^ j^.^ ^^ impress children. 

He hved a lire separate ironi the i, ,i ri.-i. ^ j.i ±. 

world, dwelling mostly in seclusion ; ^''^ ^^ ^^^eful to point out that 

a life of poverty, having nothing of this miraculous food was given him 

his own, and dependent entirely because — 

upon (jod for his food and for all that (1) He was doing the work of 

he required, in order that he might Qoil. 

fulfil the work to which (Jod called ,o'\ xr i t ^ -4^1 j. 

, . riM • I va' li. (-) He was obedient without 

him. This work was a dinicult ^ . , , -, c ^^ ■, 

and unpopular one; it inv(,lved pro- q^iestionnig the command of God, 

nouncing Divine judgmentsand con- although on both occasions it must 

stant persecution in (consequence. have seemed impossible. 

Yet, though an exile and outcast, Refer to S. Matt. vi. 2o-34, and 

God provided for Imn, and from tlie ^^ ^^^ petition in the Lord's Prayer, 

most unlikely (luartcrs — ,^. ,, . ■, , , , -, , 

(1) Hiding in a rocky ravine, ^^^^ us this day our daily bread' ; 



Lesson XII — continued. God's Providence 


away from the sight of men, he 
had water given him from the 
brook Clierith amidst the universal 
drought ; and food provided by 
the ravens, who, though without 
reason, were God's creatures, and 
worked God's purposes, 

(2) When these sources failed, he 
receives support from — 

{a) A Gentile, a Zidonian widow, 
who was outside the chosen race 
and covenant, and probably an 

{h) A store which was already 
exhausted, and, humanly speaking, 
useless. Each day enough was 
miraculously supplied for the needs 
of the day. 

2. God's reward for those who help 
His servants. 

The widow by her obedience to 
the word of God's prophet, in answer 
to her faith and charity, receives a 
threefold blessing — 

(a) The deliverance of herself and 
her son from starvation ; 

(6) The raising of her son to life ; 

(c) The knowledge of the true 
God, and of His almighty power. 


and point out that before we can 
pray that, we have to say, ' Thy 
will be done, ' 

2. Describe the faith of the 
widow, who had only enough for 
one last meal, and yet is told first 
to make a cake for the prophet, 
and obeys. 

Refer to our Lord's words, * It is 
more blessed to give than to receive' 
(Acts XX. 35), and to the picture of 
the last judgment (S. Matt. xxv. ), 
and to S. Matt. x. 40-42, in which 
passage our Lord probably alludes 
to this incident. 

Show the three separate bless- 
ings which the widow received. 
Cf. S. Mark xii. 41-44 ; Heb. xi. 35. 

Point out the duty, not only of 
charity in general, but of specially 
helping all those who are doing 
the woi'k of God, e.g. the cleigy, 




Blackboard Sketch. 

God's Providence. 

Mijah, a p-ophet^ doing a ivork for God. 

1. God provides for his needs — 

(a) The birds feed him ; 
(6) A poor widow, who has nothing but one 
meal left, gives him all that she has. 

2. God rewards those who help His servants. 

The widow receives — 

(1) Food; 

(2) Her son restored to life ; 

(3) Knowledge of the true God. 

' They who seek the Lord shall want no manner 
of thing that is good ' (Ps. xxxiv. 10). 



AND it came to pass after many days, that the word of 
the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, 
Go, shew thyself imto Ahab ; and I will send rain 
upon the earth. 2. And Elijah went to shew himself unto 
Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria. 3. And 
Ahab called Obadiah, which ivas ^ the governor of his i over the 
house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly : 4. For 
it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, 
that Obadiah took an hundred proj)hets, and hid them by 
lifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.) 5. And 
Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all foun- 
tains of water, and unto all brooks : peradventure we may 
find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose 
not all the beasts. 6. So they divided the land between 
them to pass throughout it : Ahab went one way by him- 
self, and Obadiah went another way by himself. 7. And 
as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him : and 

he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, '^ Art thou that ^ isitthou, my 

lord Elijah? 
my lord Elijah ? 8. And he answered him, I am : go, 

tell thy lord. Behold, Elijah is here, 9. And he said. What 

have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy servant into 

the hand of Ahab, to slay me ? 10. As the Lord thy 

God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my 

lord hath not sent to seek thee : and when they said. He is 

1. In the third year. This may be reckoned either from Elijah's first 
appearance before Ahab, or from the last event recorded — the raising 
of the widow's son. The whole drought lasted three years and a half. 

3. Obadiah has sometimes been identified M'ith the prophet of that 
name, but as that prophet's book seems to refer to the sack of Jeru- 
salem by the Chaldfeans, he Mas probably later, and a contemporary 
of Jeremiah. 

4. When Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD. No account is given 
of this massacre, though it is again alluded to in chap. xix. It shows the 
determined eftbrt of Jezebel and her party to extirpate the worship of 
Jehovah altogether. These ' prophets ' formed a distinct class, called 
also 'sons of the prophets,' who, though not necessarily priests, were 
usually in close connection with the sanctuary. 



a -2 Kings ii. 16 
Ezek. iii. 12 ; 
Acts viii. 39. 

not there ; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that 
they found thee not. 11. And now thou sayest, Go, tell 
thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here. 12. And it shall come to 
pass, as soon as 1 am gone from thee, that " the Spirit of the 
Lord shall carry thee whither I know not ; and so when 
I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall 
slay me : but I thy servant fear the Lord from my youth. 
13. Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew 
the prophets of the Lord, how I hid an hundred men of 
the Lord's prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with 
bread and water ? 14. And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy 
lord, Behold, Elijah is here : and he shall slay me. 15. And 
Elijah said, As the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I 
stand, I will surely shew myself unto him to day. 16. So 
Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him : and Ahab 
went to meet Elijah. 17. And it came to pass, when Ahab 
saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, ^ Art thou he that 
troubleth Israel ? 18. And he answered, I have not 
troubled Israel ; but thou, and thy father's house, in that 
ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou 
hast followed Baalim. 19. Now therefore send, arid gather 
to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of 

3 Is it thou, 
tliou troubler 
of Israel? 

lo. I will surely sliew myself unto him to day. The holy courage of 
Elijah, in obedience to the word of the Lord, is strikingl}^ shown. He 
has just been reminded that not only had his fellow-prophets been slain, 
but lie himself Mas regarded as the prime offender, and had been searched 
for in all the surrounding nations. So in later daj's S. Athanasius, the 
defender of the Catholic Faith, was hunted for by the Roman emperor 
and the Avians. 

17. Art thou he that trouhleth Israel ? The spirit of Ahab's question 
lives on. Those who make a firm stand for religious principles, who 
refuse to count things indilferent which are not indifferent, will always 
be accused of stirring up strife and being enemies of peace. Even our 
blessed Lord Himself was accused of 'stirring up' and perverting the 
people. Peace is a good tiling, Init Truth is a higher good ; and loyalty 
to Truth is our first and supreme duty. 

18. Thou hast followed Baalim. More literally 'the Baahm,' for Baal 
was a general name, and there were many special forms or supposed 
manifestations of Baal ; sometimes named from places, like Baal Peor ; or 
from some event, like Baal-berith — ' Baal of the covenant.' 

19. Mount Carmel. This is one of the most remarkable physical features 


Baal four liimdretl and fifty, and the prophets ^ of the groves ^ of the Asii- 

four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table. 20. So Ahab 

sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the 

IDrophets together unto mount Carmel. 21. And Elijah 

came unto all the people, and said, ^ How long halt ye ^ S. Matt. vi. 

between two opinions ? if the Lord he God, follow him : 

but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered 

of Palestine, and has been vividly described by many travellers (see 
Stanley's Sinai and Palestine, pp. 352-57 ; G. A. Smith, Historical 
Geoijraphy, and Smith's Dictionary of the Bible). It is not so much 
a mountain as a long ridge of some eighteen miles, terminating in a 
striking promontory overlooking the sea, now crowned by the Carmelite 
monastery. The modern name of Carmel is 'Mar Elyas,' 'Lord Elijah,' 
and the tradition of the spot where Elijah's sacrifice M'as offered has been 
preserved in the name ' El-maharrakah,' ' the saci'ifice ' — a spot on the 
highest ground of the ridge (some 1700 feet above the sea), and near its 
eastern extremity. The natural features of Carmel are implied in its 
name, which signifies 'a park.' It is quite unlike the bare and rocky 
heights of Palestine generally, and is beautifully Avooded, and rich in 
flowers, while a multitude of caves in the limestone rock form natural 
hiding-places. See Amos i. 2, ix. 3 ; and Isa. xxxiii. 9. 

There must have been an altar to Jehovah here before Elijah's time 
(see ver. 30), and the place has always retained a mysterious sanctity in 
the minds of the heathen. The view from the scene of the sacrifice must 
have been most suggestive and awe-inspiring. ' The awful debate, 
whether Jehovah or Baal was supreme lord of the elements, was fought 
out for a full day in face of one of the most sublime prospects of earth 
and sea and heaven. Before him who stands on Carmel nature rises in a 
series of great stages from sea to Alp : the Mediterranean, the long coast 
to north and south, with its hot sands and palms, Esdraelon covered 
with wheat. Tabor and the lower hills of Galilee with their oaks, then 
over the barer peaks of Upper Galilee, and the haze that is about them, 
the clear snow of Hermon, hanging like a lonely cloud in the sky. It 
was in face of that miniature universe that the Deity, who was Character, 
was vindicated as Lord against the deitj^ "who was not' (G. A. Smith, 
pp. 340, 341). It must have added much also to the solemnity of the 
scene to remember that on the plain beneath had l)een fought the great 
battles of Gideon and Barak, and that there tlie disobedient Saul had 
fallen before the armies of the aliens. 

19. The prophets of the groves four hundred. Tliese were the ' prophets ' 
of the female deity who was worshipped side by side with Baal. Tlyit 
the idol prophets ' fed at Jezebel's table ' shows the fanatical fervour with 
which the queen supported these false and degrading worships. 

21. How long halt ye between two opinions? The word translated 
'halt' means to limp, and is the same as that translated 'leap" in ver. 
26. It describes very expressively the uncertain attitude of Israel in 
religion, not wholly relinquishing the ancestral and national Avorship of 
Jehovah, and yet following the lead of the queen in the Avorship of Baal. 


him not a word. 22. Then said Elijah unto the people, I, 
even 1 only, remain a prophet of the Lord ; but Baal's 
prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23. Let them 
therefore give us two bullocks ; and let them choose one 
bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on 
wood, and put no fire under : and I will dress the other 
bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under : 24. And 

•5 god. call ye on the name of your ^ gods, and I will call on the 

c 1 Chron. xxi. name of the Lord : and the God that ^ answereth by fire, 
let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It 
is well spoken. 25. And Elijah said unto the prophets of 
Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it 
first ; for ye are many ; and call on the name of your gods, 
but put no fire under. 26. And they took the bullock 
which was f^iven them, and they dressed it, and called on 

d s. Matt. vi. tlie name of Baal '■^ from morning even until noon, saying, 
Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that 

6 leaped about, answered. And they ^ leaped upon the altar which was 
made. 27. And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah 
mocked them, and said, Cry aloud : for he is a god ; either 

7 musing. he is "talking, or he is ^pursuing, or he is in a journey, or 

s "'0116 n,sidG« 

peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. 28. And 
they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with 

They were trying to serve two masters, or walk two ways at once, like 
Banyan's 'Mr. Facing-both-ways.' 

26. And they leaped upon the altar. Alore probably this means that 
they executed a wild, irregular dance (described as 'limping,' see 
previous note) round the altar ; something like the ' dancing dervishes ' 
of the modern p]ast. 

27. And It came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them. If, as is 
probable, liaal was, in the popular mind, identified with the sun-god 
(some images (jf JJaal represented him with ra3's of light round his head), 
Elijah's mockery would come with deadly force at noon-tide, the moment 
of the sun's greatest power. Moreover, the miracle asked for would 
have been the natural one for the sun-god with his fiery rays to have 

Was it also because of this that to Elijah alone among the prophets 
was given power to call down fire from heaven? It was Jehovah, and 
not Baal, who was supreme in what superstition thought to be Baal's own 
special dominion. It was Jehovah, and not the sun-god, who had power 
over nature. 


knives and ^ lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. » lances. 

29. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they 

prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening 

10 sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, lo oblation. 

nor any that regarded. 30. And Elijah said unto all the 

people. Come near unto me. And all the people came near 

unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that 

was broken down. 31. And Elijah took twelve ^ stones, e Exod. xx. 25. 

according to the number of the tribes of the sons of 

Jacob, unto whom -^the word of the Lord came, saying, / Gen. xxxii. 
' ' -^ ^' 28 ; XXXV. 10. 

Israel shall be thy name : 32. And with the stones he 

built an altar in the name of the Lord : and he made a 

trench about the altar, as great as would contain two 

measures of seed. 33. And he put the wood in order, and 

cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and 

said. Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt 

sacrifice, and on the wood. 34. And he said. Do it the 

second time. And they did it the second time. And he 

29. The evening' sacrifice. The word used signifies the ' pure offering ' 
or ' minchah,' which was composed of cakes of fine flour, mingled with oil, 
offered with incense, in addition to the lamb of the daily burnt-offering. 

30. And he repaired, the altar of the LORD. This altar must have been 
one of the patriarchal altars to Jehovah which were scattered up and down 
the Holy Land. Before the institution of a central sanctuary such places 
of sacrifice were permitted, and instruction is given in the Law concern- 
ing them (Exod. xx. 25 ; Deut. xxvii. 5, 6). 

It may seem strange, however, that Elijah should have restored one of 
these ancient altars, after the central sanctuary had been built at Jeru- 
salem. But the whole circumstances were abnormal. It would have 
been impossible to gather the people to the capital of another kingdom. 
Moreover, Elijah's great work was more fundamental than that of pro- 
moting the central worship. He had to attack and drive out an absolutely 
foreign worship, to vindicate the First Commandment. So we never find 
him attacking either the high places or the calves, but simply Baal- 

31. AndElijahtook twelve stones. The number is significant. Although 
the kingdoms were divided, Israel was still one in God's sight, being the 
chosen nation of the covenant ; so twelve stones are taken to represent 
the twelve trilics. 

33. Fill four barrels with water. Modern discovery has shown the 
truthfulness of this narrative. It used to be asked by unbelievers how 
so much water could be procured at such a time of drought. It might 
indeed have been brought from the sea, which was near at hand. But 


said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third 
time. 35. And the water ran round about the altar ; and 
he filled the trench also with water. 36. And it came to 
pass at the time of the ofl'ering of the evening sacrifice, that 

g Exod. iii. G. Elijah the proj^het came near, and said, ^ Lord God of 
Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day 
that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and 
that I have done all these things at thy word. 37. Hear 

11 that thou, me, Lord, hear me, that this people may know ^^ that thou 
art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart 

Lord, art God. 

h Lev. ix. 24 ; back again. 38. Then ^ the fire of the Lord fell, and con- 

1 Ch^on! xxi. ' sumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, 

vii.' 1. ^^°"" '^^^ th® dust, and licked up the water that ivas in the 

trench. 39. And Avhen all the people saw it, they fell on 

their faces : and they said. The Lord, he is the God ; the 

Lord, he is the God. 40. And Elijah said unto them, 

i 2 Kings x. 25. ' Take the prophets of Baal ; let not one of them escape. 

And they took them : and Elijah brought them down to 

j Deut. xviii. the brook Kishon, and •^slew them there. 41. And Elijah 

said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink ; for there is a 

sound of abundance of rain. 42. So Ahab went up to eat 

and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Oarmel ; 
k S. James v. i • i ^ i i • ,- 

17, IS. and ''"he cast hmisen down upon the earth, and put his lace 

close to the place of Elijah's sacrifice is a spring of fresh water, which is 
said never to run dry in any season. ' Carniel is the first of Israel's hills 
to meet the rains, and they give him of their best' (G. A. Smith). 

38. Then the fire of the LORD fell. This fire may have actually de- 
scended as a thunderl:)olt ; Init it was none the less miraculous, and a 
direct answer to Elijah's prayer. Miracles are not perversions of the laws 
of nature, but God'.s readjustment of His own laws for His own purpose, 
to instruct, or warn, or punish man, or to fulfil His promises. 

40. The brook Kishon. There is a knoll on the descent from Carmel to 
the ravine of the Kishon, which still bears the name 'hill of the priests.' 
It could hardly have ])een without purpose that the same torrent which 
had swept awa}' the Hying hosts of Siscni (Judges v. 21) was now chosen 
for the Divine judgment ujjon the idolatrous priests, who were worse 
enemies of Israel than tlie eliaiioteers of the Canaanites in olden days. 

42. And he cast himself down upon the earth. The propliet, by his 
very attitude, sliovvs tl'.e intensity and jjcrsistence of his prayer that the 
rain might be sent. He was not daunted by six disappointments, but 
won the answer to his prayer by faith. 


between his knees, 43. And said to his servant, Go up 

now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, 

and said. There is nothing. And he said. Go again seven 

times. 44. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that 

he said. Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, 

^^like a man's hand. And he said, Go ujd, say unto Ahab, ^^ as small as a 
_, 17- 11- man's hand. 

Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the ram stop 

thee not. 45. And it came to pass ^^ in the mean while, that ^-^ ^^ a little 

the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was 

a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. 46. 

And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah ; and he girded 

up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of 


44. Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea. This was, and 
is still, a well-known precursor of a storm in the eastern Mediterranean. 
Ancient writers have seen in this cloud a type of the Incarnation. In 
answer to the fervent and age-long prayer and desire of the saints of 
the old covenant, came in God's time, in the sunset of the pagan 
world, the humble, almost unnoticed, Event which has changed all 
the history of man. 

And lie said, Go up, say unto Aliab. Nothing is more remarkable 
throughout this M'onderful scene than the complete dominance for the 
time of Elijah over Ahab. The man who had been pursued to the death 
by the king gives orders (cf. verses 19, 40, 41) which the king meekly 
obeys. Such is the moral force of a Divine mission, even when he who 
is charged with it stands, like Elijah, alone, unarmed, and, humanly 
speaking, pow^erless. 

46. And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah. The strength of the 
Divine inspiration not only gave moral strength to Elijah, but super- 
natural bodily vigour. He ran sixteen miles in front of Ahab's chariot, 
perhaps a mark of respect to him who was king, although an idolater. 




Courage for God 



1. The picture of a brave man — 
one against king, 850 false prophets, 
the whole nation — not afraid to 
speak the truth, and to risk his 
own life for the honour of God. 

Describe the contesting sides : the 
king and false prophets in splendid 
robes, glittering with gold and 
colours, exultant, quite sure of 
themselves ; Elijah in the mean 
mantle of undressed skin, with 
nothing to attract or overawe. 

Which side would yo\x rather 
have been with ? Why ? 

Speak of the glory of loyalty, of 
faithfulness to God, and the Truth. 

Cf. Milton's lines on the Arch- 
angel Abdiel {Paradise Lost, v. ) : — 

' Faithful found 
Among the faithless, faithful only he : 
Among innumerable false, unmoved, 
Unshaken, uuseduced, unterrified, 
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal.' 

1. Elijah's courag-e. 

The heroic courage of Elijah is 
perhaps the most striking feature 
in the whole of this most dramatic 

Strong in the sense of his Divine 
mission he comes forth from his 
place of refuge, and confronts the 
unscrupulous king who had searched 
far and wide in order to take his 

In the king's presence he is not 
afraid to tell him to his face who 
was the real 'troubler of Israel,' 
and why. 

And in the whole range of history 
there is no more splendid example 
of moral force triumphing over 
mere numbers than Elijah's con- 
fronting alone, not only the king 
and the 850 idolatrous prophets, 
the favourites of the court, but the 
representatives of the whole king- 

The solitary figure in the garb of 
the desert stands opposite to the 
whole magnificence and power of 
king and nation, and utters his 
splendid challenge. He is willing 
to put the whole controversy be- 
tween Jehovah and Baal, between 
the God of holiness and the God of 
self-indulgence and self-will, to one 
decisive test. If this test had 
failed, and doubtless its success 
was an answer to the prophet's 
faith and prayer, there is no doubt 
that liis own life Avould instantly 
have paid the ff)rfeit. 

2. The secret of courage. 2. Point out that there are dif- 

Men are not able to stand alone ferent kinds of cowrar/e. There is the 

at such moments as these, however courage of strength, anger, natural 

good their cause, unless they liave . .° ,, . . ,.7,, , ,, 

long prepared beforehand, tlic life ^P^"^^ = ^^''^ '« 1^^^^^ "^^^'^ ^^^^^ *^^^ 

of solitude and prayer had taught courage of the wdd beasts. 



Lesson XIII — continued. Courage for God 


Elijah the true value of things. 
He had learned more of God than 
other men, and in the strength of 
this vision of the Unseen, and of 
the call of God to himself, he stood 
firm, where other men would have 
been dazzled or frightened. 

It was by the word of the Lord 
(ver. 1) that he came forth to meet 
Ahab, and in the great controversy, 
it is the knowledge that all he has 
done has been at God's word (ver. 
36) which sustains him. 

Af urther characteristic of Elijah's 
courage was the forgetfulness of self. 
There is no vestige of vainglory, or 
desire for a personal triumph. He 
praj's to be heard (ver. 37) for the 
sake of the people, that their eyes 
may be open to know the ti'uth and 
their hearts set free to obey it. 

3. The result of Elijah's courage is 
one of the startling interventions of 
God on the stage of human history, 
and one of the most remarkable 
proofs of what one man, who is 
faithful, can do for God. There 
was a complete revulsion of popular 
feeling. Baal was exposed, Jehovah 
vindicated, the false prophets slain, 
the king himself could offer no re- 
sistance. And in answer again to 
the prophet's prayer, the coming 
of the rain was a gracious sign of 
the turning away of the wrath of 

So in Christian history, men 
learned to speak of ' Athanasius 
contra mundum.'' One holy man, 
in the strength of prayer and per- 
sonal love of the Saviour, humanly 
speaking, saved the Catholic Faith ; 
vindicating the true Godhead of 
Jesus Christ, and leaving a mark 
upon the Church which can never 
be effaced. 


The highest courage, that which 
makes heroes, is the courage which 
does not rest on self^ but on God 
and a good cause. 

So great heroes and patriots in 
history have been brave for the 
sake of country, those they loved, 
justice, truth. 

The courage of Elijah was inspired 
by love of God (see allusions to 
God's word to him, verses 1, 36) 
and lore of man ; he desired to free 
his countrymen from a false and 
degrading superstition. 

And because his courage does not 
rest on self, before he offers his 
sacrifice, he prays (verses 36-37). 

3. The fire from heaven may have 
been lightning, but it was sent (1) 
by the will of God, (2) in answer to 
Elijah's prayer. All the powers of 
Nature belong to God, and He can 
use them as He wills. 

Describe results of this burnt- 
sacrifice — 

(1) The people do not worship 

Elijah but God, which was 
what he desired ; 

(2) The deceivers are put to 

death ; 

(3) The long drought is euded^ 

again in answer to the 
prophet's prayer. 



Blackboard Sketch. 

Courage for God. 
1. Elijah, a truly brave man. 

He stood alone for God against — 
the king, 
the 850 false prophets, 

the nation. 

2. Why was he brave ? 

He was doing the will of God. 
He was not contending for himself, but for 
God's honour, and the good of the people. 
His strength was in prayer. 

3. The answer to prayer : — 

Fire from heaven ; 
Conversion of the people ; 
Destruction of false prophets ; 



AND Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and 
withal how he had slain all the prophets with the 
sword. 2. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto 
Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if 
I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow 
about this time. 3. And when he saw that^ he arose, and 
went for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which hclongeth 
to Judah, and left his servant there. 4. But he himself 
went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat 
down under a ^juniper tree : and he requested for himself i Marg. broom. 

2. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah. There is a significant 
difference between tlie character of Ahab and Jezebel. The former 
was one of those who 'had not wholly quenched his power,' he still 
retained ' a little grain of conscience.' He Avas impressed by the work of 
Elijah, which he had felt himself powerless to stop, and there was a hope 
of his repentance (cf. xxi. 27). But there are no hints of repentance in 
Jezebel ; she had absolutely hardened her heart against truth and con- 
science, and Elijah's victory only makes her more bitter. The parallel 
between these two and Shakespeare's creations of Macbeth and Lady 
Macbeth is very striking. 

3. Beer-sheba, which belongeth to Judah. Beer-sheba is in the territory 
of Simeon, and one of the southernmost places in Palestine. Although 
Simeon nominally was reckoned with the tribes of the northern kingdom, 
it had long ago lost its tribal character, in accordance with the curse of 
Jacob (Gen. xlix. 7), and this part, at any rate, now belonged to the kings 
of Judah, and so was out of the reach of Ahab and Jezebel for the 

4. And he requested for himself that he might die. The despondency 
which now caine upon Elijah is very true to human nature. The strongest 
characters often, as it were, have to pay the penaltj^ for moments of extra- 
ordinary exaltation by a physical reaction into deep depression of mind 
and body. Such a weapon Satan employed, even against our blessed 
Lord Himself, in the garden of Gethsemane, but was overcome by the 
obedience which was strong to say, 'Not My will, but Thine, be done.' 
Elijah seems to have thought that his labours, and even the great miracles 
he had worked, were failures ; that they could produce no lasting effect 
in view of the unconquerable malice of Jezebel. He was looking for the 
moment at the hiiman side of events only, and forgetting the Divine back- 
ground. A similar desijondency may have prompted the question asked 
by Elijah's successor, John the Bai»tist (8. Matt. xi. 2, 3). 

There is a remarkable sermon by Dr. Liddon, in Old Testament Sermons, 
on ' Elijah at Horeb,' which should be consulted by the teacher. 

126 1 KINGS XIX. 

a Jonah iv. 3, 8. " that lie might die ; and said, It is enough ; now, Lord, 
take away my life ; for I am not better than my fathers. 
5. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, 
then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and 
eat. 6. And he looked, and, behold, there icas a cake baken 
on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did 
eat and drink, and laid him down again. 7. And the angel 
of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, 
and said. Arise and eat ; because the journey is too great 
for thee. 8. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and 

h Exod. xxxiv. went in the strength of that meat ^ forty days and forty 

^8 ' D6ut i\ *^ 

IS; s. Matt.'iv! nights unto Horeb the mount of God. 9. And he came 
thither unto a cave, and lodged there ; and, behold, the 
word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him. What 

c Rom. xi. 3. doest thou here, Elijah ? 10. And he said, ^ I have been 

d Num. XXV. 11, very jealous for the Lord God of hosts : ^ for the children 
of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine 
altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword ; and I, even 
I only, am left ; and they seek my life, to take it away. 

e Exori. xxiv. 11. And he said. Go forth, and stand upon ^ the mount 


before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and 

8. And went in tlie strength of that meat forty days and forty nights. 
The parallels of Moses and our Lord will at once occur. In this super- 
natural food in the wilderness the Church has always loved to see a 
distinct t^^pe of the Holy Communion. 

Horeb the mount of God. Elijah is led to the most sacred spot in the 
history of Old Testament revelation — the mount where the La\v had 
been given by God amid fire and darkness and terror — the same Law which 
he had been vindicating on Mount Carmel. Here he is to be taught 
deeper lessons as to the nature of God and the waj's of God. The cave 
spoken of in the next verse was probably the very spot where God 
had revealed His Name and the skirts of His glory to Moses (Exod. 
xxxiii. -xxxiv.). 

11. And, behold, the LORD passed by. This is the same expression that 
is used of the manifestation of God to Moses, and implies, not, of course, 
a literal ' passing by,' for God is everywhere, but a special revelation of 
God. These terrible disturbances of nature, the wind, the earthquake, 
and the fire, were perhaps tlie way in which Elijah had expected God to 
reveal Himself in judgment on Israel. But now he is shown tliat God's 
ways are otlierwise. The Lord Mas nc)t in these things. Eather, the 
])ivine oi)erations are carried on secretly and inwardly by the invisible 
influence of His Holy Spirit, dealing with the conscience of man. It was 


a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in 
pieces the rocks before the Lord ; but the Lord ivas not 
in the wind : and after the wind an earthquake ; but the 
Lord ivas not in the earthquake : 12. And after the earth- 
quake a fire ; but the Lord was not in the fire : and after 
the fire a still small voice. 13. And it was so, when Elijah 
heard it, that -^he wrapped his face in his mantle, and / isa. vi. 2. 
went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, 
behold, there came a voice unto him, and said. What doest 
thou here, Elijah ? 14. And he said, I have been very- 
jealous for the Lord God of hosts : because the children 
of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine 
altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword ; and I, even 
I only, am left ; and they seek my life, to take it away. 
15. And the Lord said unto him. Go, return on thy way 
to the wilderness of Damascus : and when thou comest, 
anoint Hazael to be king over Syria : 16. And Jehu the 
son of Nimshi shalt thou «' anoint to be king over Israel : g 2 Kings ix. 
and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou 
anoint to be prophet in thy room. 17. And it shall come 
to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall 

this which was symbolised by the 'still small voice' (Heb. 'a sound of 
gentle stillness'), in which Elijah at last recognises the Divine presence. 

15. Go, return on tliy way. God's purposes are invincible, and in His 
own time He ever provides the human instruments for carr^'ing them out, 
often in the most unlikely quarters, and in spite of human despondency 
and ignorance. The commands given to Elijah were at once humbling 
and encouraging. Instead of expecting anj^ great manifestation of God 
during his own lifetime, he is to appoint new agents to carry on his work : 
these will do the things that come next to be done. And in the twice 
repeated question, ' What doest thou here ? ' it would seem to be suggested 
that Elijah might have been better employed in seeking some such duties 
near at hand than even in his pilgrimage to Horeb. 

Anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. Of the three, we are only told 
definitely that one was anointed, viz. Jehu. Elisha vep>y probably was 
anointed, as prophets frequently were. Hazael may have been, but the 
only record of any actual communication between him and the prophets 
of Israel is his interview with Elisha (2 Kings viii. 8-14). But the com- 
mand to anoint need not mean more than to mark out in the prophet's 
mind, or publicly to signify as ' the word of the Lord," who were the three 
divinely appointed ministers of judgment upon Israel. 

128 1 KINGS XIX. 

Jehu slay : and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu 

2 Yet will I shall Elisha slay. 18. ^ Yet I haA^e left me seven thousand 
leave me. 

in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, 

h Hos. xiii. 2. and every mouth which hath not '^ kissed him. 19. So he 
departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who 
was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he 
with the twelfth : and Elijah passed by him, and cast his 
mantle upon him. 20. And he left the oxen, and ran after 

i S. Luke ix. Elijah, and said, ^ Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and 
my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said 
unto him. Go back again : for what have I done to thee ? 
21. And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of 
oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instru- 

17. And Mm that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. 
This prophecy is probably meant to be understood figui-atively. Elisha 
was a minister of Divine judgment, but there is no record nor like- 
lihood that he executed this with the sword literally, like Hazael and 
Jehu. God's word is often spoken of as a sword ; cf. Hosea vi. 5, ' There- 
fore have I hewed them by the prophets : I have slain them by the 
words of my mouth ' ; and S. Matt. x. 84 ; Eph. vi. 17. 

18. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel. The trutli whicli is so 
strikingly expressed in these words is one that runs through revelation. 
At all times there is a ' remnant,' as Isaiah called it (x. 20-23 ; cf. Rom. 
xi. 5). Although outwardly the Church may seem apostate, there is a 
core within which is faithful and holy, seen by God, even though un- 
known to men. So in Israel, at the time of the coming of the Lord, 
although the nation as a whole were faithless, and blinded by worldliness, 
yet such as the Blessed Virgin Mary and the apostles were ready to recog- 
nise the Christ. So doubtless it will be also at the Second Advent : 
' Iniquity willaljuund,' but ' the elect ' w ill be prepared for the Great Day. 

19. And cast his mantle upon him. The mantle of Elijah was doubtless 
a rough garment of hair, such as afterwards (or perhaps even before this 
time) became a mark of the prophetic calling. It is alluded to as such 
in Zech. xiii. 4. The casting of this upon Elisha was, of course, a sym- 
l)olical action, marking him out as a future prophet. 

20. Go hack again : for what have I done to thee ? It is perfectly clear 
from the context that these words do not signify any attempt to minimise 
the solemnity of Elijah's calling of Elisha. And it is e(]ually clear that 
I'^Iisha did not hesitate to follow at once the Divine call, and make an 
entire break with his past life. We must therefore understand them as 
meaning that Elisha may well ask to go and bid his parents farewell, for 
what Elijah had done to him will mean an entire separation from them. 

21. And took a yoke of oxen, and slew them. Each action of Elisha 
shows his thorough acceptance of his call. He gives up his worldly occupa- 



ments of the oxen, and gave unto the jDeople, and they did 
eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered 
unto him. 

tion, he makes the oxen and the plough the instruments of a solemn 
farewell feast, probably a feast upon a sacrifice, for the word rendered 
'slew' means 'sacrificed' (cf. 2 Sam. xxiv. 22). Like the apostles, he 
was ready to forsake all and follow. The Church has chosen this incident 
for the First Lesson at Mattins on S. Matthew's Day. 

The Hidden Ways of God 


1. Hidden consolations. 

Elijah, after the intense exalta- 
tion of soul which had carried him 
through the great scene of Carmel, 
seems to fall suddenly and strangely 
into terror and depression. He re- 
cognises that the triumph is not so 
complete as at first appeared ; the 
mainspring of the idolatrous move- 
ment is still untouched. Jezebel is 

The prophet flees into the wil- 
derness, perhaps first with the in- 
tention of seeking communion with 
God at the great historic spot of 
the giving of the Lav/ ; but, sitting 
down under one of the scanty trees 
of the desert, he prays for death. 
His life-work is, bethinks, a failure; 
he has wrought no deliverance in 
the earth (cf. Isa. xxvi. 18 ; xlix. 4). 

He is comforted mysteriously by 
the sympathy of the angel who 
touches him in his dream, and by 
the miraculous meals which give 
him new strength for the journey to 

2. Hidden strength. 

The wind and the earthquake and 
the fire, terrible disturbances of 
Nature, might seem \\e\\ to har- 
monise with Elijah's eager, tumul- 
tuous spirit ; and, also, the}' would 
sugg-est those mighty interferences 
of God which he hoped would visibly 



1. Refer to previous lesson, and 
show that Elijah must have thought 
that every one would turn and serve 
God after the miracle on Carmel. So 
when the queen threatens to kill 
him, he loses heart for the time. 

Describe the journey through the 
wilderness ; the angel's visits were 
a proof that he was not really alone ; 
and the food God provided him must 
have convinced him of God's love 
and care. 

Show how this food is a type of 
the Holy Eucharist, which is some- 
times called 'angels' food,' like the 
manna (cf. Ps. Ixxviii. 24, 25), and 
gives strength to Christians to go 
through this life safely until they 
reach the presence of God. 

2. What would Elijah expect on 
Mount Sinai ? Refer to the giving 
of the Law. He ma\' have expected 
that God would speak to him, as He 
did to Moses, with a terrible voice 
like a trumpet amidst fire and whirl- 
wind and darkness. 

These things did happen, but 



Le.ssox XIV— continued. The Hidden Ways of God 


convince and terrify the unbelievers. 
And yet the Lord was in none of 
these ; in none of them did the 
Divine voice speak inwardlj?- to him 
or bring him inspiration. Rather 
in the 'still small voice,' whisper- 
ing in the silence of Nature, did he 
recognise the presence of God. 

It was a sign to him that God's 
ordinary ways of working His pur- 
pose are hidden, and unnoticed by 
the world ; and also a prophecy of 
the times of Christ : — 

'The ragini; fire, the roaring wind 

Thy boundless power display, 
But in the gentler breeze we find 
Thy Spirit's viewless way.' 

3. Hidden calls. 

The three commissions given by 
the voice of God, only one of which 
was immediately fulfilled, were 
signs to Elijah that God has many 
messengers, and many ways of ful- 
filling His purpose. Elijah was not 
to see in any case what the actual 
work of these three would be ; but 
he is only assured that each will 
supplement the work of the others, 
and each will in his sphere perform 
that which the prophet had despaired 
of. Justice will ultimately be meted 
out, God's will must be done, but in 
other ways than any he had thought 
of or desired. 

4. Hidden saints. 

The Church is never really so 
corrupt as it seems. Elijah thought 
that he was the only one left who 
was faithful to God, that Israel had 
entirely apostatised ; yet unknown 
to him, and hidden from tlie world, 
there was still the perfect number 
of God's elect who would never 
falter in their loyalty. 

These made no display in the 
world, they did not work miracles, 
nor carry on any open warfare with 
Ahab and Jc/.ebel ; but in God's 
sight they were the true Israel, the 

God was not in them. God did not 
wish to speak in this way ; nor does 
He as a rule do so. God usually 
speaks to men quietly, in secret, 
whispering to the heart and con- 
science by His Holy Spirit. 

Elijah perhaps expected fire from 
heaven to burn up Jezebel and all 
idolaters, but God teaches him by 
this ' still small voice ' that He 
loves to persuade sinners rather 
than terrify or destroy them. 

Cf. S. Luke ix. 54-56. 

3. Elijah may have thought (see 
verses 10 and 14) that he was the 
only one who worked for God, and 
that if he were to be killed there 
would be no one left to take his 

God shows him three men who 
would in different ways and inde- 
pendently of each other carry on 
His work. 

Illustrate by — 

Moses and Joshua ; 
The apostles, and their suc- 
cessors the clergy. 

4. Picture Elijah's surprise at 
being told that so far from himself 
being the only true believer in Cod, 
there were 7000 others in Israel. 

So it is always — men often see 
only the bad side ; God sees the 
hidden saints, hears their prayers, 
spares the world for their sakes. 

So God would have spared Sodom 
and Gomorrah had ten righteous 
been there (Gen. xviii.). 

Eefer to clause in Creed — ' the 
holy Catholic Church ' — sometimes 
men think tlie Church is not at all 
holy, and that God has left her. 



Lesson XIV — continued. 


wholesome living core, though all the 
outside seemed rotten ; their quiet 
faithfuhiess, their constant interces- 
sion, were of more lasting worth than 
a crusade against idolatry, or a call- 
ing down of fire from heaven. 

Ihe Hidden Ways of God 


But there are always the faithful 
there, wliom God sees and knows 
quite clearly. 

How important to be among the 
faithful in God's sight, even though 
men know nothing about one ! 

Blackboard Sketch. 

The Hidden Ways of God. 

1. Elijah, in fear, sad, lonely. 

God comforts him by an angel ; 

by miraculous food. 
So we have (juardian angels and the Holy 

2. Elijah expects God to do great miracles. 

God speaks to him in a ' still small voice. ' 
So the Holy Spirit speaks to us. 

3. Elijah thinks his work is a failure. 

God shows him whom to appoint as succes- 
sors — Hazael, Jehu, Elisha. 
So we have the clergy, who carry on the work 
of God. 

4. Elijah thinks he is the only faithful one left. 

God tells him there are 7000 more. 
So we have the hidden saints of the Church. 

132 1 KINGS XX. 


A ND Ben-liadad the king of Syria gathered all his host 
_±\_ together : and there ivere thii'ty and two kings with 
him, and horses, and chariots : and he went up and 
besieged Samaria, and warred against it. 2. And he sent 
messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said 
unto him, Thus saith Ben-hadad, 3. Thy silver and thy 
gold is mine ; thy wives also and thy children, even the 
goodliest, are mine. 4. And the king of Israel answered 
and said. My lord, king, according to thy saying, I am 
thine, and all that I have. 5. And the messengers came 
again, and said. Thus speaketh Ben-hadad, saying, Although 
I have sent unto thee, saying. Thou shalt deliver me thy 
silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children ; 
6. Yet I will send my servants unto thee to morrow about 
this time, and they shall search thine house, and the houses 
of thy servants ; and it shall be, that whatsoever is plea- 
sant in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take 
it away. 7. Then the king of Israel called all the elders 
of the land, and said, Mark, I pray you, and see how this 
man seeketh mischief : for he sent unto me for my wives, 
and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold ; 
and I denied him not. 8. And all the elders and all the 
people said unto him, Hearken not itnto him, nor consent. 
9. Wherefore he said unto the messengers of Ben-hadad, 

1. And Ben-hadad the king of Syria. It is not certain which par- 
ticular Jicn-hadad this was, as there were several of the name. He may 
have V>een the Ben-hadad of cliap. xv. 18. S3a'ia was at present the most 
dangerous neighbour of Israel. 

6. Yet I will send my servants. Ahab had already made a general 
ofifer of suljuiission to Ben-hadad (ver. 5).^ But the latter, not content 
with this, now announces his intention to humiliate him still further (1) 
by actually taking the king's possessions ; (2) by ransacking the houses of 
his nobles and subjects generally. 

1 This would probably have meant merely the jiaying of some indemnity or tribute, 
such as Rehoboam was compelled to pay to Shishak. 


Tell my lord the king, All that thou didst send for to thy 

servant at the first I will do : but this thing I may not do. 

And the messengers departed, and brought him word 

again. 10. And Ben-hadad sent unto him, and said, The 

gods do so unto me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria 

shall suffice for handfuls for all the people that follow me. 

11. And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, 

Let not him that girdeth on his ^ harness boast himself as ^ armour. 

he that putteth it oflF. 12. And it came to pass, when 

Ben-hadad heard this message, as he was drinking, he and 

the kings in the pavilions, that he said unto his servants. 

Set yourselves in array. And they set themselves in array 

against the city. 13. And, behold, there came a prophet 

unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the Lord, 

Hast thou seen all this great multitude ? behold, I will 

deliver it into thine hand this day ; and thou shalt know 

that I am the Lord. 14. And Ahab said. By whom ? 

And he said, Thus saith the Lord, l^ven by the young 

men of the princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who 

shall 2 order the battle? And he answered. Thou. 15. 2 begin. 

Then he ^ numbered the young men of the princes of the ^ mustered. 

provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty two : 

and after them he numbered all the people, even all the 

children of Israel, being seven thousand. 16. And they 

10. If the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls. This Oriental 
hyperbole may be interpreted in more than one way. The first and 
obvious meaning is that Ben-hadad will bring an overwhelming host 
against Ahab. But the reference to handfuls of dust may imply either 
that Samaria will be actually taken away like rubbish for a dust-heap, 
or that the besiegers would be so numerous that they would not be able 
to find enough earth to make ramparts against Samaria. 

12. Set yourselves in array. As will be seen by the italics, there is 
onh' one word, an imperative, in the Hebrew. This may mean, as the 
margin suggests, ' Place the siege-engines in position to begin the 

14. Even by the young- men of the princes of the provinces. These 
were apparentl}' the servants or squii^es of the chief men of Israel. They 
were chosen, no doubt, to show that the victory would be supernatural. 
Their youth and inexperience would unfit them naturally' for leaders 

134 1 KINGS XX. 

went out at noon. But Ben-hadad was drinking himself 
drunk in the paviUons, he and the kings, the thirty and 
two kings that helped him. 17. And the young men of 
the princes of the provinces went out first ; and Ben-hadad 
sent out, and they told him, saying. There are men come 
out of Samaria. 18. And he said, Whether they be come 
out for peace, take them alive ; or whether they be come 
out for war, take them alive. 19. So these young men of 
the princes of the provinces came out of the city, and the 
army which followed them, 20. And they slew every one 
his man : and the Syrians fled ; and Israel pursued them : 
and Ben-hadad the king of Syria escaped on an horse with 
the horsemen. 21. And the king of Israel went out, and 
smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a 
great slaughter. 22. And the prophet came to the king of 
Israel, and said unto him. Go, strengthen thyself, and 

a 2 Sam. xi. 1. mark, and see what thou doest : for « at the return of the 
year the king of Syria will come up against thee. 23. And 

4 Their god is a the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, ''Their gods 

god. o J } o 

are gods of the hills ; therefore they were stronger than we ; 
but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we 
shall be stronger than they. 24. And do this thing. Take 
the kings away, every man out of his place, and jjut 
captains in their rooms : 25. And number thee an army, 
like the army that thou bast lost, horse for horse, and 

2,3. Their gods are gods of the hills. See Revised Version. The 
Syrians, in the usual manner of the heathen nations of old, look upon all 
gods as e(jually real, but of powers limited by nationality or locality. A 
contest between two nations was considered a trial of strength between 
one national god and another. Cf. the cry of the Philistines (1 Sam. 
iv. 8) and the heathenish conduct of Ahaz (2 Chron. xxviii. 23). It was 
even customary before a siege for the besiegers to invoke the gods of the 
city to change sides, and offer them brilies to do so. In the case of the 
Syrians, they imagined that their own gods were powerless among the 
mountains, but would l)e victorious on a battlefield which resembled 
their own level countr}'. 

24. Take the kings away. Treachery and dissension were probably 
suspected as the causes oi the rout of the Syrian arni}^ in the previous 
campaign. As a matter of history, many of the huge Oriental armies, 
which were made up of various nationalities, fell to pieces through these 
causes before comparatively small but united bodies of men, e.g. the 
Persians at Marathon before the charge of the Greeks. 


chariot for chariot : and we will fight against them in the 
jDlain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. And he 
hearkened unto their voice, and did so. 26. And it came 
to pass at the return of the year, that Ben-hadad num- 
bered the Syrians, and went up to ^ Aphek to fight against hj Kings xlii. 
Israel. 27. And the children of Israel were numbered, 
and ^ were all present, and went against them : and the ° were vic- 
children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks 
of kids ; but the Syrians filled the country. 28. And 
there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of 
Israel, and said. Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians 
have said. The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God 
of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multi- 
tude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the 
Lord. 29. And they iDitched one over against the other 
seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the 
battle was joined : and the children of Israel slew of the 
Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day. 30. 
But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city ; and there a wall 
fell upon twenty and seven thousand of the men that were 
left. And Ben-hadad fled, and came into the city, into an 
inner chamber. 31. And his servants said unto him, 
Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of 
Israel are merciful kings : let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth 
on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the 
king of Israel : peradventure he will save thy life. 32. 
So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and ijut ropes on 
their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said. Thy 
servant Ben-hadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. And 
he said, Is he yet alive ? he is my brother. 33. Now the 

26. Aphek. There were several places of this name, but this was 
probably the one in the plain of Jezreel. 

28. Ye shall know that I am the LORD. In contrast with the heathen 
coaception of divinities (see note on 23), limited in power by nation 
or place, Jehovah, in accordance with the revelation of His name, will 
again show Himself the one and only God, almighty over all the earth, 
unlimited and uncontrolled. 

32. He is my brother. Ahab uses the complimentary phrase of one 
king to another. Yet what might under some circumstances have been 

136 1 KINGS XX 

6 observed diii- men ^ did diligently observe whether amj thing ivould come 
hasted to catch from him, and did hastily catch it ; and they said, Thy 
his mind. brother Ben-hadad, Then he said, Go ye, bring him. 

Then Ben-hadad came forth to him ; and he caused him 
. to come ujD into the chariot. 34. And Ben-hadad said 

unto him. The cities, which my father took from thy father, 
I will restore ; and thou shalt make streets for thee in 
Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then said 
Ahah, I will send thee away with this covenant. So he 
made a covenant with him, and sent him away. 35. And 
a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his 

7 fellow. 7 neighbour in the word of the Lord, Smite me, I pray 

thee. And the man refused to smite him. 36. Then said 
he unto him. Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of 
the Lord, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a 
lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from 
c chap. xiii. 24. him, a ^ lion found him, and slew him. 37. Then he found 
another man, and said. Smite me, I pray thee. And the 
man smote him, so that in smiting he wounded him. 38. 

8 with his So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the 

his eyes. way, and disguised himself ^ with ashes ujDon his face. 

laudable clemency towards the vanquished, was not fitting in one Avho 
was really fighting the war of the Lord against the heathen, and who 
had received such a signal mark of God's interjjosition. 

Ben-hadad himself does not show well during this narrative. An over- 
bearing, blustering drunkard, he is also a coward (verses 20 and 30). To 
let him go in peace was an offence against humanity as Avell as against 

34. Thou Shalt make streets for thee in Damascus. This apparently 
means that facilities would be granted to Israelites to trade in Damascus. 
A certain quarter would be assigned to them for shops or 'bazaars.' 

35. In the word of the LORD, i.e. under the influence of prophetic 
inspiration, which it is assumed would l)e recognisable by a brother- 
prophet (see R.V. ), and therefore oiight to have been obeyed, however 
strange the command might seem. The 'sons of the prophets' means 
the class or order of professional prophets who seem often to have lived 
in communities. 

Smite me, I pray thee. This extraordinary request can only be under- 
stood by remembering the prominence of symbolical action in the 
messages of the prophets. To give colour and vividness to his parable, 
the prophet not only disguises himself, Imt deliberately seeks to be 
wounded as if he had really come out of battle. 


39. And as the king passed by, ''he cried unto the king : d 2 Sam. xii. i.; 

xiv. 4. 

and he said, Thy servant went out into the midst of the 

battle ; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a 

man unto me, and said. Keep this man : if by any means 

he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else 

thou shalt pay a talent of silver. 40. And as thy servant 

was busy here and there, he was gone. And the king of 

Israel said unto him. So shall thy judgment he ; thyself 

hast decided it. 41. And he hasted, and took '^the ashes 9 the head- 

,.„ ,,-. „-r ,,. 11 . band from his 

away from his fiice ; and the king of Israel discerned him eyes. 

that he was of the prophets. 42. And he said unto him, 

Thus saith the Lord, Because thou hast let go out of thy 

hand a man whom I ^^ appointed to Uitter destruction, J^^^gJ^I^Jij, 

therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for 

his people. 43. And the king of Israel went to his house 

heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria. 

40. So shall thy judgment be ; thyself hast decided it, i.e. by your very 
statement, you show that you are liable to the forfeit agreed upon ; you 
let the prisoner go, and you must pay the penalty. 

42. Thus saith the LORD. These words introduce the prophet's 
message as authoritative, Divinely inspired. We must not judge it by 
the standard of the Nev/ Testament. Ahab, like Saul, had the oppor- 
tunity of striking an effective blow at a heathen powbr ; and this would 
have been in accordance with the Divine method of educating Israel. 
The nation had to learn that alliances with foreign powers and oppor- 
tunities of trade, such as Ahab obtained from Ben-hadad, were of less 
importance than the maintenance of the national life and religion of 

Thy life shall go for his life. This prophecy was fulfilled in the 
disastrous battle at Ramoth-Gilead against the Sj'rians, described in 
chap. xxii. 



Introduction. — This chapter portrays most vividly a remarkable 
piece of history, and if it be used as a lesson, the presentation of the 
facts will naturally form tlie cliief part of it. 

1. The Syrians will naturally be described, and the position of Damascus 
shown on the map. The teacher will point out the overbearing and 
covetous spirit of Ben-hadad, his trust in his own strength and the 
multitude of his army. The heathen conception of gods with local 



limitations (ver. 23) will be noticed, and contrasted with the true nature 
of God, His omnipresence and omnipotence. 

2. The two remarkable victories of the Israelites will be described ; 
the comparative smallness of their force (ver. 27), the prophecies that 
went before each battle (verses 13, 28). It will be pointed out that God 
gave these victories as a proof that human strength and self-confidence 
alone can do nothing, that He Himself is the real arbiter and disposer of 
all event?. The victories were not granted for any goodness in Ahab, 
but that he and his people might know that Jehovah was what His 
name implied. ' Ye shall know that I am Jehovah.' 

3. Without going deeply into the question of the disguised prophet's 
message, it might be pointed out that though the merciful are blessed, 
yet there are times when punishment is demanded ; and that there is 
such a thing as sham mercy, which is only weakness, sentiment, or self- 
seeking. Ahab was certainly not a merciful king ; and his sparing Ben- 
hadad was probably due to his vanity being flattered by the way in which 
the ambassadors approached him, or to the desire for some commercial 
treaty or alliance with Syria. 

Ahab was ' heavy and displeased ' when he heard the prophet's message ; 
but we do not read that he had made any effort to seek Divine guidance 
before, even when he had so clearly seen that the victories were given 
by God. 

Blackboard Sketch. 


The Syrians thought victory depended on 
number of soldiers, or fighting in a favour- 
able place. 

Ahab thought victory had been given him 
to do what he liked with. 


God alone is the giver of victor3^ 

God's gifts should be used, not \vasted. 


1 KINGS XXL; XXII. 1-40 

AND it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the 
it Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, 
hard by the pahice of Ahal) king of Samaria. 2. 
And Ahab sjDake unto Naboth, saying, " Give me thy vine- « Ezek. xivi. is. 
yard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it 
-^5 near unto my house : and I will give thee for it a better 
vineyard than it ; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give 
thee the worth of it in money. 3. And Naboth said to 
Ahab, The Lord forbid it me, that I should give the 
inheritance of my fiithers unto thee. 4. And Ahab came 
into his house heavy and displeased because of the word 
which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him : for he 
had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. 
And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his 
face, and would eat no bread, 5. But Jezebel his wife 
came to him, and said unto him. Why is thy spirit so sad, 
that thou eatest no bread? 6. And he said unto her, 
Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto 
him. Give me thy vineyard for money ; or else, if it please 
thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it : and he 
answered, I will not give thee my vineyard. 7. And 
Jezebel his wife said unto him. Dost thou now govern the 
kingdom of Israel ? arise, and eat bread, and let thine 
heart be merry : I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth 
the Jezreelite. 8. So she wrote letters in Aliab's name, 

3. The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my 
fathers unto thee. Naboth, as his use of the name Jehovah shows, must 
have been one of the worshippers of the true God, and this fact illustrates 
his refusal to comply with the king's demand. The possessions of an 
Israelite were sacred, because the God of his fathers had given them to 
him. The Law of Moses emphasised this, not only by forbidding the 
land to go out of a tribe, in the case of failure of the male line (Num. 
xxxvi. 7, 8 ; cf. Ruth iv. ), but also by not allowing land to be sold in 
perpetuity, except within a walled town (Lev. xxv.). 

8. So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, etc. The unscrupulous wicked- 

140 1 KINGS XXI. : XXII. 1-40 

and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the 
elders and to the nobles that ivere in his city, dwelling 
with Naboth. 9. And she wrote in the letters, saying, 
Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people : 
b Deut. xvii. 6. 10, And set '' two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear 
c Exod. xxii. 28 ; witness against him, saying, '^thou didst ^blaspheme God 
1 curse ; 'vm'rg'' and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, 
that he may die. 11. And the men of the city, even the 
elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, 
did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it ivas written 
in the letters which she had sent unto them. 12. They 
proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the 
people. 13. And there came in two men, children of 
Belial, and sat before him : and the men of Belial wit- 
nessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence 

ness of Jezebel seems to reach its height in this awful piece of treachery 
and cruelty. It is, unhappily, not without paiallels among Oriental 
nations, nor even in our own. Thomas Cromwell, the wicked minister 
of Henry viii. , seems to have followed much the same policy in getting 
rid of the abbots and ecclesiastics, wlio, like Naboth, were not willing 
that the inheritance of the Church should be surrendered to the covetous- 
ness and lusts of the king. Cromwell's note- book contains memoranda 
such as these : ' Item, to see that the evidence be well sorted. ' ' Item, 
the abbot of Reading to be sent down to be tried and executed at 
Beading ! ' 

It is comparatively easy to understand such conduct in those who are 
worshippers of gods whose qualities are non-moral or immoral, like those 
attributed to Baal and the otlier heatlien divinities. Ultimately a man's 
character is shaped by his belief. The light of natural reason and con- 
science in Jezebel had been extinguished by her false and degraded 
religion. Her conduct might seem impossible in Christian times. But 
corrnptio optimi pe.-isima. Wilful disobedience to the known law of God 
ever brings its own retribution in the blunting of conscience. Cf. Hosea 
iv. 11. 

9. Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among- the people. A fast, 
or day of general liuniiliation, is to be proclaimed, evidently to create 
the impression that some great crime has been committed. At the same 
time the fast u ould have the effect of taking the people from their work, 
and bringing them together, so that the execution of Naboth might seem 
to be an act approved by them all. Naboth, as befitted, apparently, his 
wealth, is to be [)laced in a prominent position. 

The combination of malice with hypocrisy, the religious colour of the 
false accusation, and the care to have the proper number of witnesses, 
suggest remarkably the condemnation of our blessed Lord by the chief 
priests on the charge of blasphemy (S. Matt. xxvi. 57-66). 


of the people, saying, Naboth did ^blaspheme God and the 
king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and 
stoned him with stones, that he died. 14. Then they sent to 
Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead. 15. And 
it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was 
stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, 
take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, 
which he refused to give thee for money : for Naboth is 
not alive, but dead. 16. And it came to pass, when Ahab 
heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go 
down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take 
possession of it. 17. And the word of the Lord came to 
Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 18. Arise, go down to meet 
Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria : behold he is 
in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone dow^n to 
possess it. 19. And thou shalt sjDeak unto him, saying, 
Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou killed, and also taken 
possession ? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying. Thus 
saith the Lord, In the place where dogs licked the blood of 
Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine. 20. And 
Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, mine enemy ? 
And he answered, I have found thee : because thou hast 
'^sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord. it. "' 

18. Arise, go down to meet Ahab. Very probably Elijah, after leaving 
Abel-Meholah, liad gone up again to Carmel, whence he could speedily 
descend to the plain of Jezreel. Ahab no doubt ' went down' from his 
palace in Samaria. 

19. In ttie place where dogs licked tlie blood of Naboth shall dogs lick 
thy blood. The horror of this curse would be even greater in the ears of 
a Jew than in ours. The dogs of the East are wild scavengers, not 
domesticated like ours. Moreover they were ritually 'unclean.' For a 
dead body to be so dishonourtd Mould seem the worse possible indignity. 
Tradition says that a similar judgment fell upon the dead body of 
Henry viii. as it lay within the ruined M-alls of Sion nunner\-. 

The literal fulhlment of the curse fell upon Ahab's son Jehoram (2 Kings 
ix. 2o-2G). Although Ahab himself was dishonoured in his death (1 Kings 
xxii. 38), the full penalt}^ of his sin was diverted from him for the sake of 
his repentance (ver. 29 l)elow). 

20. Thou hast sold thyself to work evil. This striking phrase, here and 
in ver. 2.5, implies that AhaVj had of his own will given up the moral rule 
of himself. He had sold himself, not indeed like Judas for money, but 
for covetousness and pleasure. Cf. our Lord's words, S. Matt. xvi. 26. 

142 1 KINGS XXI. ; XXII. 1-40 

t'2Kingsix. 21. '^Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will 

2 utterly sweep - take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab 

3 ^^^eveiyman ^ every man child, and him that is shut up and left in 

SiusThut u^^ Israel, 22. And will make thine house like the house of 

'Stat'llrge^in' Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha 

Israel. ^]^g gQjj Qf Ahijah, for the j^rovocation wherewith thou hast 

provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin. 23. And 

/ -2 Kings ix.3(i. of Jezebel also spake the Lord, saying, -^The dogs shall eat 

•1 rampart. Jezebel by the ^ wall of Jezreel. 24. Him that dieth of 

Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat ; and him that dieth 

in the field shall the fowls of the air eat. 25. But there 

was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work 

wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife 

stirred up. 26. And he did very abominably in following 

g Gen. xv. 10 ; idols, according to all things as -" did the Amorites, whom 

the Lord cast out before the children of Israel. 27. And 

it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he 

rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and 

fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. 28^ And 

the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 

29. Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me ? 

because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring 

h 2 Kings ix. 25. the evil in his days : '* but in his son's days will I bring the 

evil upon his house. 

XXII. 1. And they continued three years without war 

between Syria and Israel. 2, And it came to pass in the 

i 2 Chron. xviii. third year, that ^' Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down 

to the king of Israel. 3. And the king of Israel said 

27. Went softly. Perhaps this means ' bare-foot,' but more likely it 
expresses a humble and quiet movement, as of a mourjier, in contrast 
with the usual state of a king's progress. 

29. I will not bring the evil in his days. Both the judgments and the 
promises of God on this side the grave are usually represented in Holy 
Scripture (however categorically they are expressed) as conditional. 
Repentance may avert the one, disobedience forfeit the other. 

XXII. 2. Jehoshapliat the king- of Judah came down to the king of Israel. 
This visit was no doubt owing to the fact that Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram 


unto his servants, Know ye that ^ Ramoth in Gilead is j Deut. iv. 43, 

oar's, and we he still, and take it not out of the hand of 

the king of Syria ? 4. And he said unto Jehoshaphat, 

Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ranioth-gilead ? And 

Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, 

my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses. 5. And 

Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray 

thee, at the word of the Lord to day. 6. Then the king 

of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred 

men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead 

to battle, or shall I forbear ? And they said. Go up ; for 

the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king. 7. 

And Jehoshaphat said. Is there not here a projDhet of the 

Lord besides, that we might enquire of him ? 8. And the 

king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Theo-e is yet one man, 

Micaiah the son of Inilah, by whom we may enquire of the 

Lord : but I hate him ; for he doth not prophesy good 

concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said. Let not 

had married Athaliah. the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (2 Kings viii. 
18, and 2 Chron. xviii. 1). According to the Chronicler's account, this 
visit of Jehoshaphat was an occasion of great splendour and feasting. 
Such a reception may have made it more difficult for him to refuse to join 
Ahab in his campaign. 

3. Ramotli in Gilead. One of the strong places of the country east of 
Jordan, a city of refuge, probably the most northerly of them, but the 
site is uncertain. Probably it was one of the cities which Ben-hadad had 
promised to restore (xx. 34), but had not done so. 

5. Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to-day. Jehoshaphat 
was a religious king, but he had put himself in a false position by his 
alliance with Ahab. He cannot, however, stifle conscience, and is eager 
to have the guidance of Jehovah. Evidently lie desires a favourable 
answer. He sees through the false prophets (ver. 7) ; and yet, when 
the answer of God is unmistakably adverse, he goes against it. 

6. Then the king- of Israel gathered the prophets together. It is evident 
from this narrative that the worship of Jehovah must to some extent 
have been revived or tolerated, after the great duel on Mount Carmel. 
Indeed, Ahab and Jezebel would hardlj'^ have dared to go against the 
popular voice. There is no mention here of prophets of Baal. But it 
is quite evident that the king and queen had taken means to nullify, as 
far as possible, this reformation. These so-called prophets of Jehovah 
are clearly time-servers in the pay of the court. Xo doul)t they were 
attached to the worship of the golden calves, and prostituted their sacred 

144 1 KINGS XXI. ; XXIL 1-40 

the king say so. ' 9. Then the king of Israel called an 
officer, and said, Hasten hither Micaiah the son of Imlah. 
10. And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of 
Jiidah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in 
5 an open place. 5 a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria ; 
and all the prophets prophesied before them. 11. And 
Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron : 
and he said, Thus saith the Lord, With these shalt thou 
push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them. 12. 
And all the prophets prophesied so, saying. Go up to 
Kamoth-gilead, and prosper : for the Lord shall deliver it 
into the king's hand. 13. And the messenger that was 
gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying. Behold now, 
the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with 
one mouth : let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of 
one of them, and speak that lohich is good. 14. And 
Micaiah said, As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith 
unto me, that will I speak. 15. So he came to the king. 
And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against 
Eamoth-gilead to battle, or shall we forbear ? And he 
answered him. Go, and prosper : for the Lord shall deliver 
it into the hand of the king. 16 And the king said unto 
him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell 
me nothing but that ivhich is true in the name of the 
Lord? 17. And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon 
the hills, ^ as sheep that have not a shepherd : and the 
Lord said, These have no master : let them return every 
man to his house in peace. 18. And the king of Israel 

office to the pleasure of Ahab. On this occasion they overdid their part, 
and were not trusted by Jehoshaphat. 

11. And Zedekiah tlie son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron. This 
was one of the symbolical actions frequently used by the prophets, true 
and false alike, to give point and emphasis to their words. (Cf. p. 136.) 
It has been suggested that Zedekiah's act was a reniiniscence of the bless- 
ing of Moses upon the tribe of Joseph (Deut. xxxiii. 17). 

15. And he answered him, Go, and prosper. Evidently the very tone 
of Micaialrs voice showed that his words were satirical. But when put 
on his oath by the king (ver. 16) he relates the true ' vision' which the 
Holy Spirit had shown him. 

Ic S. Matt. 


said unto Jelioshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would 

prophesy no good concerning me, but evil ? 19. And he 

said, Hear thou therefore the word of the Lord : ^ I saw l isa. yi. i ; 

the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven 

standing by him on his right hand and on his left. 20. 

And the Lord said. Who shall ^persuade Ahab, that he ^ entice. 

may go up and fall at Kamoth-gilead 1 And one said on 

this manner, and another said on that manner. 21. And 

there came forth a spirit and stood before the Lord, and 

said, I will ^ j^ersuade him. 22. And the Lord said unto 

him, Wherewith ? And he said, I will go forth, and I will 

be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he 

said, Thou shalt ^ persuade him, and prevail also : '" go m Job xii. 16. 

forth, and do so. 23. Now therefore, behold, the Lord 

hath jDut a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy 

prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee. 

24. But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and 

smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said. Which way went 

the Spirit of the Lord from me to speak unto thee ? 25. 

And Micaiah said, Behold, thou sbalt see in that day, -^_ 

" when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself, n chap. xx. 30. 

19. I saw the LORD sitting on Ms throne. Eternal truth respecting 
the moral dealings of God with man is here set out in a vivid form, the 
form T\hich in the mind of the Spirit was most fitted for those who were 
immediately concerned. The vision was truly seen by the prophet, and 
it was truly shown him by God, and yet it ma}' be regarded as a ^:'a?'aWe, 
rather than an actual description of what is taking place in the councils 
of heaven. The truth which the parable teaches is plainly that God is 
allowing Ahab and his prophets to be deceived, and this (with its conse- 
quences of defeat at Ramoth-Gilead) is a piinishment. These men had 
profanely sought guidance from God when they did not wish in their 
hearts to do God's will at all. So God suffers them to be blinded. He 
answers them 'according to the multitude of their idols' (Ezek. xiv.). 
He makes their heart fat and their ears heavy, and shuts their eyes (Isa. 
vi. 10). This terrible warning of the results of tampering with conscience 
is very clearly given in many parts of the Bible. The ' spirit ' which put 
a lie in the mouth of the prophets was not necessarily an evil spirit. He 
may be regarded as a Divine messenger of judgment, acting in the moral 
sphere, instead of the physical. The destroying angel smote the bodies 
of the Egyptians and the Assyrians. Here he smites men's souls. Cf. 
2Thess. iT. 10-12. 

25. Behold, thou shalt see in that day. We are not told how this pre- 


146 1 KINGS XXI.; XXII. 1-40 

26. And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry 

him back imto Anion the governor of the city, and to 

Joash the king's son ; 27. And say, Thus saith the king, 

Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of 

affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace. 

28. And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the 

7 Hear, ye LoRD hath not spoken by me. And he said, ^ Hearken, 
peoples, all of r< j i i • i> t i j 

you, see Micah people, every one of you. 29. bo the kmg oi Israel and 

Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 
30. And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will 
disguise myself, and enter into the battle ; but put thou 
on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, 
and went into the battle. 31. But the king of Syria com- 

chap. XX. 1, manded '' his thirty and two captains that had rule over 
his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, 
save only with the king of Israel. 32. And it came to 
pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, 
that they said, Surely it is the king of Israel, And they 
turned aside to fight against him : and Jehoshaphat cried 
out. 33. And it came to pass, when the captains of the 
chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, that 
they turned back from pursuing him. 34. And a certain 

simplicity. ^ man drew a bow ^at a venture, and smote the king of 

diction was fulfilled. Zedekiah and his fellow-prophets would be dis- 
credited when the news came of the defeat of Israel. Possibly they were 
then in danger of their lives as false prophets, and sought out hiding- 
places. This is one of the many passages which illustrate the truthful- 
ness of the Bible record. A writer who was inventing would certainly 
have written an account of the fulfilment of Micaiah's words. 

30. I will disguise myself. Belief would have made Ahab give up his 
expedition ; sui)erstition makes him imagine that in some way he can 
avert the disaster l)y disguising himself. Trust in omens generally 
accompanies unbelief of heart. When men drive out true religion, it is 
avenged by its counterfeit, superstition. 

32. And Jehosliapliat cried out. The parallel account in 2 Chron. xviii. 
31 shows that Jehoshaphat's cry was really a prayer for help to God, 
which was answered. 

34. And a certain man drew a bow at a venture. There is considerable 
doubt as to how this expression should be understood. It f)robably means 
that the archer took good aim at Ahab, but did not know, owing to the 


Israel ^ between the joints of the harness : wherefore he 9 Marg. be- 

said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and armour and the 

carry me out of the host ; for I am ^"^ wounded. 35. And lo sore 

the battle increased that day : and the king was stayed up ^^ °^" ^ " 

in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even : and 

the blood ran out of the wound into the ^^ midst of the n bottom. 

chariot. 36. And there went a ^- proclamation throughout 12 cry. 

the host about the going down of the sun, saying, Every 

man to his city, and every man to his own country. 37. So 

the king died, and was brought to Samaria ; and they 

buried the king in Samaria. 38. And ^^ one washed the 13 they. 

chariot in the pool of Samaria ; and the dogs licked up his 

blood ; 1* and they washed his armour, according unto the i^ (now the 

word of the Lord which he spake. 39. Now the rest of themselves 

the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and ^'the ivory house ^ Amos iii. 15. 

which he made, and all the cities that he built, are they 

not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of 

Israel ? 40. So Ahab slept with his fathers ; and Ahaziah 

his son reigned in his stead. 

king's disguise, at whom he was aiming. Jewish tradition says that 
Naaman was the archer. 

35. The king was stayed up in Ms chariot against the Syrians. In the 
vain hope of rallying his army, Ahab is not actually removed from the 
field, but is supported in his chariot all day, perhaps at some little 
distance from the press of battle. There is something very tragic in this 
picture of the dying king, slowly bleeding to death, being held up by his 
squires until evening. Who knows whether the time was not given him 
for repentance, and whether in God's mercy he did not avail himself 
of it? 

38. The pool of Samaria. Probably some reservoir outside the walls 
of the city, such as are very necessary in Eastern towns to provide a 
supply of water during the long rainless seasons. 

And they washed his armour. The correction of the Revised Version 
is difficult to understand, but it has been suggested that these 'harlots' 
were the priestesses of Kaal and Ashtaroth, who lived immoral lives as 
part of their service to the idols. 

39. The ivory house which he made — i.e. a palace whose walls were 
adorned by being inlaid with ivory. This verse shoMS what was no 
doubt the world's estimate of Ahab as a great and splendid king, a builder, 
and a patron of art. It serves to throw into more solemn relief the Divine 
estimate of his works and character. 


1 KINGS XXI. : XXII. 1-40 




1 . Sin and judgment. 

Hitherto the idolatry of Ahab 
has been chiefly dwelt on by the 
sacred writer ; but it is remark- 
able that the final judgment ^vo- 
nounced b}^ Elijah upon his house 
is the result of a breach of the 
second table of Commandments. 
Ahab's crowning sin begins in 
coveting, and ends in murder. Yet 
doubtless the two classes of sin 
wei*e connected. The moral weak- 
ness which had led him to prefer 
the lax, though outwardly splendid, 
worship of Baal, and to oppose no 
obstacle to the imperious idolatry 
of Jezebel, now shows itself in his 
relations with his subjects. He 
wants his own way and pleasure, 
cannot bear to be thwarted, and 
though Jezebel was actually the 
designer and worker of the horrible 
plot against Naboth, Ahab as king 
was, of course, really i^esponsible. 

Failure in love of God shows it- 
self in lack of love to man. Charity 
is the fulfilling of the law both in 
the Old and the New Testament, 
and just as Ahab and Jezebel stand 
finally judged for a sin against a 
brother-man, so charity is shown 
l)y our Lord to be the standaixl 
at the Last Jiidgment (S. Matt. 


2. Ahab's repentance. 

Ahab seems to have been really 
impressed for the time by the words 
of Elijah, and to have recognised 
something of the awfulness of his 
crime. He assumed the outward 
signs of penitence and mourning ; 
and to some extent he must have 
been sincere, for the judgment of 
God was modified in consequence. 

That Ahab's repentance, however, 
did not change his character is seen 
clearly in his consultation of the 
prophets before the battle of Ra- 
moth-Gilead. It is quite clear that 


1. Point out the sequence of sin 
in Ahab — 

(1) Coveting, what he did not 
really need, and what Naboth had 
no right to give him. 

(2) Anger, sulking (ver. 4). 

(3) Murder, for though he did not 
himself order Naboth's death, he 
was quite willing for Jezebel to use 
any shameful means to bring it 
about ; and he took pleasure in the 

Ask what Ahab's previous sins 
had been ? Show that there is one 
common feature of self-will. He 
had never learned to rule himself. 

Show that sins against charity are 
the blackest of all in the sight of 
God, and that we shall be judged 
individually at the Last Day by our 
conduct towards our fellow-men. 

Ask the children what happiness 
Naboth's vineyard brought Ahab 
when he had got it. See verses 16, 

2. Describe Ahab's repentance. 
It was not altogether false. See 
God's promise, ver. 29. 

What is true repentance ? 
Steadfast purpose to do better. 

The last is the decisive matter, 
and it was here that Ahab failed. 

Illustrate by the false repentance 
of Pharaoh and Saul. Each of these 
said, 'I have sinned,' but the mo- 
ment the opportunity for wrong- 
doing returned they took advantage 
of it. 



Lesson XVI — continued. Imperfect Repentakce. 

he had made up his own mind, that 
he desired only to hear such time- 
serving prophecies as would fall in 
with his own purpose. He adjures 
Micaiah to tell him the truth, and 
yet when he hears it, it only makes 
him angr3% and he treats the prophet 
with contempt and cruelty. 

The prophet's vision of ' the lying 
spirit ' is deeply significant. Those 
who will not hear the truth are 
permitted by God to be deceived, 
or to deceive themselves. The same 
fate fell upon Ahab as upon the 
Jewish people, as a whole, in 
later times. 'Ye would not,' says 
our Blessed Lord of them (S. Matt, 
xxiii. 37). ' Behold your house is 
left unto you desolate' [ih. 38). 

3. Retribution. 

Ahab preserves something of his 
double character to the end. Not 
afraid to disobey the Divine mes- 
sage, which his conscience told him 
was a true one, he yet fears to go 
into battle without a disguise. 

The end is tragic enough. The 
armies of Israel, which twice before 
had routed the hosts of Syria, are 
now scattered in flight. The king, 
wounded mortalh^ by what seemed 
a chance arrow, as men count 
chances, meets the end which was 
predestined, and bequeaths to his 
son a weakened and discredited 

What a contrast between the 
miserable death of Ahab — 

' In the lost battle, 

Boine down by the flying, 
Where mingles war's rattle 
With groans of the dying,'— 

and the might and magnificence of 
his reign, which the historian dis- 
misses in a single verse ! 

N.B. — This lesson may be found too long. It might easily be divided 
at the end of chap. xxi. The second part would then begin with the 
question, AVhat is true repentance ? 


How do we know that Ahab's 
repentance was not thorough ? 

When he had made up his mind 
to go to war with the Syrians, he 
wanted the prophets of God to tell 
him, not the truth whether his 
design was God's will or not, but 
something pleasant. 

He hated Micaiah because he pro- 
phesied evil, and though he knew 
Micaiah 's words were true, he pun- 
ished him by sending him to a cruel 

[Micaiah's vision is difficult to 
explain, and should only be attemp- 
ted with elder children. The im- 
portant point is just this, Ahab did 
not leant to know the truth, and so 
God, as a punishment, allowed the 
prophets to tell him lies.] 

3. Why did Ahab disguise him- 

Why was he frightened of being 
killed in this battle ? 

Show that we need not fear 
danger which may occur in the 
course of diity. It is only the danger 
which meets us when we are on 
some course which we cannot ask 
God to bless which is really to be 

Describe the man drawing his 
bow, and shooting at he knew not 
whom. Point out that there is no 
such thing as 'chance.' Illustrate 
by S. Matt. x. 29, 30. 


1 KINGS XXr. ; XXII. 1-40 

Blackboard Sketch. 

Imperfect Repentance. 

1. The great sin of Ahab and Jezebel. 

Coveting Naboth's vineyard leads to — 
Anger ; 
False -witness ; 

Murder. ' 

The vineyard only brought sorrow and a 
curse when Ahab got it. 

2. Ahab's repentance — 

Partly sincere ; 

For God accepted it. 
But it was lacking in desire of amendment. 

Ahab did not want to hear the truth, but 
hated Micaiah the prophet when he spoke 
the truth. 

3. Ahab's punishment — 

God allowed him to be deceived ; 
He was slain in battle ; 
His people were defeated. 


True Repentance 

Ml) Sorrow ; 
' (2) Confession. 
I (3) Amendment. 


1 KINGS XXII. 51-53; 2 KINGS I. 

A HAZIAH the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel 

Jx in Samaria the seventeenth year c^ Jehoshaphat 

king of Jiidah, and reigned two years over Israel. 

52. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in 

the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in 

the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel 

to sin : 53. For he served Baal, and worshipped him, and 

provoked to anger the Lord God of Israel, according to all 

that his father had done. 

2 KINGS I. 1. Then Moab rebelled against Israel after 

the death of Ahab. 2. And Ahaziah fell doAvn through a 

lattice in his upper chamber that 2vas in Samaria, and was 

sick : and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, 

enquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron whether I shall 

recover of this disease. 3. But the angel of the Lord said 

to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers 

of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, ^ Is it not ^ is it because 
^ . . there is no God 

because there is not a God in Israel that ye go to enquire in Israel? 

of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron ? 4. Now therefore thus 

2 Kings i. 1. Then Moab rebelled against Israel. Moab had been 
subjugated by David (2 Sam. viii. 2, cf. Ps. Ix. 8). The Moabite stone 
{see vol. i. p. 79) speaks of Omri oppressing Moab. The great defeat of 
Israel and the death of Ahab evidently provided a suitable opportunity 
for a revolt of Moab. 

2. A lattice in Ms upper chamber. There was, of course, no glass in 
ancient windows. They were protected by shutters or by lattice-work. 
The king was probably leaning against this lattice, which gave May, and 
he fell to the ground. 

Baal-zebub the god of Ekron. This was one of the many Baals who 
were named after some special property or circumstance connected with 
them (see p. 1 IG). This was the ' Baal of flies,' apparentl}^ because he was 
supposed to protect his worshippers from flies, which are a terrible plague 
in hot Eastern countries. Both the Greeks and the Romans had a similar 
divinity. Why Ahaziah sent to this particular Baal is unknown. The 
shrine may have been famous as an ' oracle. ' Ekron was a Philistine 
city, a considerable distance south of Samaria. Baal-zebu]) reappears 
in the Xew Testament as a current name among the Jews (Avith altered 
vowels) for ' the chief of the devils.' 

152 1 KfXGS XXII. 51-53; 2 KIXGS I. 

saith the Lord, Thou shalt not come down from that bed 
on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. And 
Elijah departed. 5. And when the messengers turned 
back unto him, he said unto them. Why are ye now turned 
back ? 6. And they said unto him. There came a man up 
to meet us, and said. Go, turn again unto the king that 
sent you, and say unto him. Thus saith the Lord, ^ Is it not 
because there is not a God in Israel that thou sendest to 
enquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron ? therefore thou 
shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone 
up, but shalt surely die. 7. And he said unto them, What 
manner of man wis he which came up to meet you, and 
told you these words ? 8. And they answered him, He 

2 Marg. a man ivas ^ an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about 
o/hair. '^ his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite. 9. Then 

the king sent unto him a cajitain of fifty with his fifty. 
And he went up to him : and, behold, he sat on the top 

3 the. of ^ an hill. And he spake unto him. Thou man of God, 

the king hath said. Come down. 10. And Elijah answered 
and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then 
let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy 
fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and con- 
sumed him and his fifty. 11. Again also he sent unto him 
another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered 
and said unto him, man of God, thus hath the king said, 
Come down quickly. 12. And Elijah answered and said 
unto them. If I ie a man of God, let fire come down from 

8. He was an hairy man. Probably this means, as the margin of the 
Revised Version suggests, not that Elijah was like Esau (the word used 
of the latter being different, Gen. xxvii. 11), but that he wore, like his 
great successor, John the Baptist, a garment of rough hair (see p. 128). 

10. If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven. Again, 
as on Mount Carmcl, the claim of ]<]lijah to be prophet of the one true 
God is vindicated by fire from heaven, a flash of liglitiiing, doubtless, but 
miraculous in its occasion. Our Lord's words (S. Luke ix. ~A) are not, 
of course, any condemnation of Elijali, but a warning to His disciples 
that the method and spirit of the ministers of the Gospel must be diflferent 
from those of the preparatory dispensation, in which men were taught 
by temporal judgments. The same truth seems to be hinted at in the 
Theophany to J]lijah on Horeb (see p. 12G). 


heaven, and consume thee and thy tifty. And the tire of 
God came down from heaven and consumed him and his 
fifty. 13. And he sent again a captain of the third fifty 
with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, 
and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought 
him, and said unto him, man of God, I pray thee, let 
my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious 
in thy sight. 14. Behold, there came fire down from 
heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties 
with their fifties : therefore let my life now be precious in 
thy sight. 15. And the angel of the Lord said unto 
Elijah, Go down with him : be not afraid of him. And 
he arose, and went down with him unto the king. 16. 
And he said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch 
as thou hast sent messengers to enquire of Baal-zebub the 
god of Ekron, ^ is it not because there is no God in Israel to 
enquire of his word ? therefore thou shalt not come down ofi" 
that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. 
17. So he died according to the word of the Lord which 
Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram reigned in his stead in 
the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of 
Judah ; because he had no son. 18. Now the rest of the 
acts of Ahaziah which he did, are they not written in the 
book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel ? 

17. And Jehoram reigned in his stead. This Jehoram was the brother 
of Ahaziah. There is an apparently hopeless obsciu'ity in the chronology 
at this point, due either to corruptions in the text or to the absence of 
the historical key. The discrepancy between this verse and ili. 1 is 
usually explained by supposing that Jehoram of Judah reigned along 
with his father Jehoshaphat as 'Prorex,' i.e. deputy king, see margin of 
Authorised Version, but there is no evidence for this. 


1 KINGS XXII. 51-53 : 2 KINGS I. 


Fire from Heaven 


1. The Fire of Correction. 

The fire which Elijah called down 
from heaven was characteristic of 
the old Covenant, in which men 
were taught by tem^Doral punish- 
ments. This fire may have been 
lightning, but it was sent mir- 
aculously in vindication of the 
messenger of God. The king had 
despised his warning, and thought 
that the truth could be put down 
by force of arms. Both he and his 
soldiers were taught a sharp lesson. 

But even under the old Covenant, 
chastisement is ever mingled with 
mercy. The reverence for the pro- 
phetic office shown by the third 
captain brings its reward. God re- 
sists the proud, but gives grace to 
the humble. 

2. The Fire of Love. 

Our Lord expressly declared that 
the spirit of the new Covenant is to 
be diff"erent from that of the old 
(S. Luke ix. 54). 

Fire did indeed come down from 
heaven, but it was the fire of the 
living, illuminating, quickening 
Spirit of God. Temporal chastise- 
ments, for the most part, give place 
to the secret influence of the Spirit, 
to Whose inspirations men may 
yield themselves, or Whom they 
may resist. 

3. The Fire of Judgment. 

It must never l^e forgotten, how- 
ever, that God's name and character 
are the same under l)oth Covenants. 
He is still a consuming fire (Heb. 
xii. 29. See Deut. iv. 24). So the 
coming of Christ was inevitably a 
sending of fire upon the earth 
(S. Luke xii. 40). And the fire of 
judgment under the dispensation of 
the Spirit is really more terrible. 


1. Explain why this punishment 
was sent — 

The king was angry because Elijah 
had told him the truth. 

Both the king and his soldiers 
thought they were stronger than 

God taught them in a way w^hich 
all could understand. 

The punishment was an act of 
mercy to others in Israel, being a 

Point out the reward of humility 
in the case of the third captain. 

2. Explain our Lord's words, 
with reference to the fiery tongues 
of Pentecost. 

Xow God teaches men in a dififer- 
ent way. He gives the Holy Spirit 
to speak inwardly to the conscience. 
It is much worse to resist the Holy 
Spirit than it was to resist a 
prophet, though the sin is not 
punished by death in this world. 

3. Make it clear that God is the 
same from the beginning of the 
I>ible to the end. He teaches men 
in different ways at diff'erent times, 
but He does not change. 

There is still^^re, the fire of God's 
anger, and this will in the end 
destroy all those who resist God. 



Lesson XVIl^continued. Fire from Heaven 


though unseen as yet, than the 
temporal judgments of old time. 

It is this fire which will test even 
the works of the faithful, and will 
burn up all that is not Christ's 
(1 Cor. iii. 13-15). Aiid the same 
fire will in the end consume all the 
hosts of evil, Rev. xx. 9. 

While the methods and spirit of 
God's ministers are to be different 
under the Gospel dispensation, God 
Himself is unchanged. The rejec- 
tion of the message of love will bring 
a more lasting vengeance than the 
rejection of the prophet's words. 
See Heb. x. 26, 27. 


It is very important that the 
teacher should not draw a hard and 
fast line between the Old Testa- 
ment and the New. It was this 
error which led the Gnostics to 
imagine that the God of the Old 
Testament was a different Person 
from the God of the New Testa- 

The fear of God is plainly taught 
as a duty in the New Testament ; 
and while children should not be 
terrified, they ought to be taught 
both sides of the truth as they are 
able to bear it. 

Blackboard Sketch. 

Fire from Heaven. 

1. The Fire of God's Correction — 

destroyed those who despised God's prophet ; 
spared those who were humble. 

2. The Fire of Love. 

The Holy Spirit came like tongues of fire, 
to save men's lives, not to destro}^ their 

3. The Fire of Judgment. 

God is always the same. 

Those who will not obey His Holy Spirit 

will be destroyed by fire at the Last 


' From hardness of heart, and contempt of 

Thy word and commandment. 

Good Lord deliver us.' 

15B 2 KINGS II. ; III. 


a Gen. v. 24. J^ ND it came to pass, when " the Lord would take up 
Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah 
went with Elisha from Gilgal, 2. And Elijah said 
unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee ; for the Lord hath 
sent me to Beth-el. And Elisha said unto him, As the 
b Ruthi. 15, IG LoRD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, ^ I will not leave thee. • 
c 1 Kings XX. So they went down to Beth-el. 3. And '^ the sons of the 
prophets that tvcre at Beth-el came forth to Elisha, and 
said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away 
thy master from th}^ head to day ? And he said. Yea, I 
know it ; hold ye your peace. 4. And Elijah said unto 
him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee ; for the Lord hath 
sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the Lord liveth, and 
as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to 
Jericho. 5. And the sons of the prophets that urre at 
Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou 
that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head 
to day ? And he answered. Yea, I know it ; hold ye your 
peace. 6. And Elijah said unto him. Tarry, I i3ray thee, 
here ; for the Lord hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, 

1. Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. Elijah hitherto has only been 
described as frequenting the plain of Jezreel and Mount Carmel. At 
the close of his life he would seem to have visited the communities of 
the ' sons of the prophets' at Bethel and other places in the south of the 
kingdom of Israel. This Gilgal is apparently not the place memorable as 
the first halting-place after Joshua's passage of the Jordan (Josh. iv. ), 
but another Gilgal in the hill country higher than Bethel, which accounts 
for the ' went down ' in ver. 2. 

3. Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy 
head to da.y ? It may be gathered from tliis repeated question (1) that 
Elisha was already recognised as standing in a close relationship to Elijah, 
perhaps even as liis successor ; (2) that God had revealed to the different 
companies of prophets the approaching departure of Elijah. There is a 
remarkable parallel in the warnings of the Christian prophets in Acts xx., 
xxi. to S. Paul on his last journey to Jerusalem. Elisha's persistence in 
following was evidently a proof of his faith, and of his fitness for ' the 
mantle of Elijah.' 

6. The LORD hath sent me to Jordan. Elijah is bidden by the Divine 


A s the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave 

thee. And they two went on. 7. And fifty men of the 

sons of the prophets went, and stood to view ^ afor off : and ^ over against 

they two stood by Jordan. 8. And Elijah took his mantle, 

and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they 

were divided hither and thither, so that they two went 

over on dry ground. 9. And it came to pass, when they 

were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I 

shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And 

Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit 

be upon me. 10. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard 

thing : nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from 

thee, it shall be so unto thee ; but if not, it shall not be so. 

11. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, 

that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of 

fire, and parted them both asunder ; and Elijah went up 

by a wdiirlwind into heaven. 12. And Elisha saw it, and 

voice to return to his own country, Gilead, the land beyond Jordan. It 
was in this region that Moses had died, and had been mysteriously buried 
by tlie hand of God. 

8. They were divided hither and thither. The passing of the Jordan 
drysliod w^ould inevitably recall the memory of tlie first entry into Canaan, 
and also the passage of the Red Sea. The same Divine purpose which 
had sliown itself in tlie miracles of the Exodus was still living and 

9. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a douhle portion of thy spirit he 
upon me. This does not mean that Elisha asked to be twice as great a 
prophet as his master, but that he desired the portion of a first-born son 
(Dent. xxi. 17). In his love and devotion to his master he craved to have 
this special gift beyond other prophets. Doubtless, too, he longed to 
carry on his master's work, as his direct successor. 

10. Thou hast asked a hard thing-. It was not for Elijah to bestow 
this, he left it in the hands of God. Here again, doubtless, Elisha's faith 
is to be tested. If he has the Divine gift of beholding the realities of the 
spiritual world, which, it is implied, were not visible to the ordinary eye, 
then he will be able to receive the spiritual gifts and office which he 
asks for. 

11. There appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire. This was not a 
chariot to convey Elijah to heaven, as is commonl}' supposed ; the writer 
says nothing of that. It was the angelic chariot of God, fl^'ing upon the 
cherubim, which the Psalmist speaks of (Ps. xviii.), and w^hieh Ezekiel 
saw by the river Chebar. 

And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. Elijah was swept 

158 2 KINGS 11. ; III. 

2 chariots. he cried, ]\Iy father, my father, the - chariot of Israel, and 
the iiorsemen thereof. And he saw him no more : and he 
took hokl of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. 

13. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from 
him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan ; 

14. And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, 
and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of 
Elijah ? and when he also had smitten the waters, they 
parted hither and thither : and Elisha went over. 15. And 
when the sons of the prophets which were Uo view at 
Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest 

away from the sight of Elisha by this whirlwind, which doubtless sym- 
bolised the overmastering power of the Spirit of God (cf. Ezek. i. 4). 
That such a thing might be was evidently believed by the spiritvially 
minded Obadiah (1 Kings xviii. 12) ; and another example of it is seen in 
Acts viii. 39. It is in vain for us to pry into this great mystery of the 
translation of Elijah. It was a clear revelation indeed that man is 
immortal, that his true home is in that spiritual world which is nearer 
than we think (vi. 17). Yet although Elijah's translation was apparently 
a bodily one, we are hardly justified in saying that he was taken to heaven 
without dying. Like Enoch, indeed, he must have passed from one 
existence to another in a manner different from the common lot. He 
appeared ' in glory ' on the Mount of Transfiguration. And yet it can 
hardly be that his body was glorified before our Lord's Resurrection, as 
Christ is ' the first-fruits of them that slept.' The whole matter is veiled 
in mystery. It has at times been believed in the Church that Elijah will 
appear on earth again in his body in the last times before the Second 
Advent and suffer mart^^rdom. ' Elias was lifted up into the lower 
heavens in order that he might be led into some secret region of the earth, 
and there live in great repose of flesh and spirit, until he return at the 
end of the world, and pay the debt of dying' (S. Gregory). This is, of 
course, a speculative question only. One thing is certain, that Elijah's 
translation is the most remarkable type in the Old Testament of our 
Lord's Ascension. Hence our Church reads the account of it for the First 
Lesson at Evensong on Ascension Day. 

12. The chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. Chariots and 
horsemen in the eyes of the ancients constituted the greatest strength and 
glory of an army. Humanly speaking, Elijah was the mainstay of Israel, 
and it seems to his disciple that liis departure was an irreparable loss. 
The same words are used of P]lisha himself l)y the king of Israel 
(xiii. 14). 

14. Where is the LORD God of Elijah ? This is, of course, not a ques- 
tion expressing doubt, but a solemn invocation, an appeal for the double 
portion of the Spirit, which the fact that he had seen Elijah taken from 
him led him to expect with confidence. 

15. The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. The miracle which they 


on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed them- 
selves to the ground before him. 16. And they said unto 
him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong 
men ; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master : 
lest peradventure the Spirit of the Lord hath taken him 
up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. 
And he said, Ye shall not send. 17. And when they urged 
him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent there- 
fore fifty men ; and they sought three days, but found him 
not. 18. And when they came again to him, (for he 
tarried at Jericho,) he said unto them, Did I not say unto 
you. Go not ? 19. And the men of the city said unto 
Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is 
pleasant, as my lord seeth : but the water is naught, and s the land 
2 the ground barren. 20. And he said, Bring me a new 
cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. 
21. And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and 
cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the Lord, '^I d Exod. xv. 25. 
have healed these waters ; there shall not be from thence 

had just seen performed a second time showed them beyond all question 
that Elisha was the divinely appointed successor of Elijah. 

16. Let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master. It is clear from 
the context that it was only the dead body of Elijah which they hoped to 
find for burial. Tliej^ recognised clearly that the prophet had left this 
world, or they would scarcely have saluted Elisha as they did. Elisha, 
however, seems clearly to have understood that Elijah's body, as Mell as 
his soul, had been rapt awa}' by the whirlwind, and could never be found. 
He only allowed the search to be made because of the persistence (ver. 
17) of the request ; yet the fact that so thorough a search was made, and 
by so many, adds strong evidence to the historic truth of Elijah's dis- 

19. The situation of this city is pleasant. See the striking description 
of Jericho in Stanley, pp. 305-310, and G. A. Smith, pp. 266-268. The 
latter says of the city, 'Jericho w^as the gateway of a province, the 
emporium of a large trade, the mistress of a great palm forest, woods of 
balsam, and very rich gardens. To earliest Israel she -was the City of 
Palms ; to the latest Jewish historian " a divine region," "the fattest of 
Judiea. " ' 

The water is naught, and the ground barren. ' Xaught ' is the Old 
English word for ' worthless ' ; here it clearly means unwholesome, 
perhaps impregnated with some chemical which was harmful to life, and 
prevented fruit being brought to maturity. See Revised Version. 

21. Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters. This is the first 

160 2 KINGS II. ; III. 

miscarrj-iiig. any more death or ^ barren land. 22, So the waters were 
healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha 
which he spake. 23. And he went up from thence unto 
Beth-el : and as he w^as going up by the way, there came 
forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and 
said unto him. Go up, thou bald head ; go up, thou bald 
head. 24. And he turned back, and looked on them, and 
cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came 
forth two she bears out of the Avood, and tare forty and 
two children of them. 25. And he went from thence to 
mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria. 

III. 1. Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign 
over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat 
king of Judah, and reigned twelve years. 2. And he 
wrought evil in the sight of the Lord ; but not like his 


of Baal that his father had made. 3. Nevertheless he 
cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which 

of those miracles of healing which are so characteristic of Elisha, and are 
the most remarkable types in the Old Testament of the miracles of Our 
Lord. .Such miracles are sujigestive of the Incarnation, the redemption 
of the material world from the curse, and the pledge of the ' new heavens 
and the new earth.' 

It is noteworthy that the memory of Elisha's healing the water is still 
preserved at Jericho, where the lai'ger of the two springs is called 'the 
well of Elisha.' ' From these springs trickle clear rills through glades of 
tangled forest-shrub which, Init for their rank luxuriance and Oriental 
vegetation, almost recall the scenery of England ' (Stanley). 

23. There came fortli little children out of the city, and mocked him. 
By ' little children ' may certainly be understood young people in general. 
Solomon at his accession calls himself ' a little child. ' Such phrases in 
ancient writers were used with much more latitude of meaning than with 
us. These ' children ' were probably influenced either by the degrading 
worship of the golden calves at Bethel, or b}^ the Baal-worship. Their 
mockery could not have been mere thoughtlessness, but was a direct 
insult to the majesty of Jehovah. 

"24. And cursed them in the name of the LORD. This w as not a curse 
proceeding from personal indignation, but a Divine judgment pronounced 
by the prophet's mouth, as the awful effect of it showed. Such a miracle 
of judgment like the calling of fire from heaven belongs indeed to the older 
dispensation ; and yet it should be remembered (which is often forgotten) 
that Christ's ministers have committed to them not only the power of 
absolution, but of ' retaining ' a wilful sinner's guilt. 


made Israel to sin ; he departed not therefrom. 4. And 

Mesha king of Moab was a " sheepmaster, and rendered « isa. xvi. i. 

unto the king of Israel ^an hundred thousand lambs, and ^ the wool of 

an hundred thousand rams, with the wool. 5. But it came 

to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab 

rebelled against the king of Israel. 6. And king Jehoram 

went out of Samaria the same time, and " numbered all ^ mustered. 

Israel. 7. And he went and sent to Jehoshaphat the king 

of Judah, saying, The king of Moab hath rebelled against 

me : wilt thou go with me against Moab to battle ? And 

he said, I will go up : -^I am as thou art, my people as thy / 1 Kings xxii. 

people, and my horses as thy horses. 8. And he said. 

Which way shall we go up ? And he answered, The way 

through the wilderness of Edom. 9. So the king of Israel 

went, and the king of Judah, and the king of Edom : and 

they ^ fetched a compass of seven days' journey : and there s made a cir- 

was no water for the host, and for the cattle that followed 

them, 10. And the king of Israel said, Alas ! that the 

Lord hath called these three kings together, to deliver 

them into the hand of Moab I 11. But s' Jehoshaphat said, g i Kings xxii. 7. 

Is there not here a prophet of the Lord, that we may 

enquire of the Lord by him 1 And one of the king of 

Israel's servants answered and said. Here is Elisha the son 

of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah. 

III. 4. And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster. The whole of the 
territory east of Jordan, consisting chiefly of high plateaus and 'downs,' 
is eminently suited for pasture. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Man- 
asseh selected it for their settlement on that account. The land still 
retains this character. ' And still the countless herds and flocks may be 
seen, droves of cattle moving on like troops of soldiers, descending at 
sunset to drink of the springs ' (Stanle}-). The correction of the Revised 
Version shows that the Moabite tribute to Israel consisted of fleeces only, 
not of ' sheep ' with the wool. 

9. The king of Edom. It seems from 1 Kings xxii. 47 that at this time 
Edom was subject to Judah, and that this king of Edom was a ' deputy ' 
of Jehoshaphat. 

11. Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of 
Elijah. This expression refers literally to one of the services which in 
the East a servant or younger member of the family performs for the 
elders or the guests before and after meals. A still more humble service 
was that performed by our Lord in washing His disciples' feet. 

162 2 KINGS II. ; III. 

12. And Jehoshaphat said, The word of the Lord is with 
him. So the king of Israel and Jeho.shaphat and the king 
of Edom went down to him. 13. And Elisha said unto 
h Judges X. 14. the king of Israel, What have I to do with thee ? '' get thee 
to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy 
mother. And the king of Israel said unto him. Nay : for 
the Lord hath called these three kings together, to deliver 
them into the hand of Moab. 14. And Elisha said, As the 
Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it 
not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of 
Judah, I would not look toward thee, nor see thee. 15. 
But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when 
the minstrel played, that the hand of the Lord came upon 
him. 16. And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Make this 
valley full of ditches. 17. For thus saith the Lord, Ye 
shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain ; yet that valley 
shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and 
your cattle, and your beasts. 18. And this is but a light 

13. Nay, for the LORD hath called these three kings together. Jehoram 
here evidently repudiates the suggestion of Elisha that he was still at 
heart a worshipper of Baal. Although he had not touched the calf- 
worship, he had put away 'the pillar' of Baal, and both here and in 
ver. 10 he attributes the expedition against Moab to the guidance of 

14. Were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat. Although 
.Jehoram was not a Baal-worshipper, yet as the successor and imitator of 
Jeroboam in his idolatry, he had really, like all the kings of Israel, for- 
feited any covenanted claim to God's guidance and help. But here, as so 
often in the Bible, God shows His mercy in accepting the prayers and 
faith of the saint on behalf of his brethren. Jehoshaphat, in spite of 
his mistakes, was a righteous king, and faithful to Jehovah. For his 
sake, the prophet is permitted to give assistance. 

15. But now bring me a minstrel. The inspiration of the prophets 
must always be a mystery ; but it is clear that God spoke through them 
in accordance with their own individual character and disposition. It 
may have been that ]<]lislia was a man peculiarly sensitive to music, and 
under its subtle inHuence, he was placed in a frame of mind capable of 
receiving the Divine voice. The influence of music may be morally good 
or bad according to the individual hearer ; but it may certainly be one 
of the means b}' which communications too delicate to be expressed in 
words visit the soul from some other world than this. Music seems to 
have been cultivated by the prophets for religious purposes. See 1 Sam. 
X. 5, 6. 


thing in the sight of the Lord : he will deliver the Moabites 

also into your hand. 19. And ye shall smite every fenced 

city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, 

and stop all wells of water, and mar every good piece of 

land with stones. 20. And it came to pass in the morning, 

^when the meat offering was offered, that, behold, there ^ about the 

time of offering 
came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled the oblation. 

with water. 21. And when all the Moabites heard that 

the kings were come up to fight against them, they gathered 

all that were able to put on armour, and upward, and stood 

in the border. 22. And they rose up early in the morning, 

and the sun shone upon the water, and the Moabites saw 

the water ^^on the other side as red as blood : 23. And ^^ over against 

they said. This is blood : the kings are surely slain, and 

they have smitten one another : now therefore, Moab, to 

the spoil. 24, And when they came to the camp of Israel, 

the Israelites rose up and smote the Moabites, so that they 

fled before them : but they went forward smiting the 

Moabites, even in their country. 25. And they beat down 

the cities, and on every good piece of land cast every man 

his stone, and filled it ; and they stopped all the wells of 

water, and felled all the good trees : only in * Kir-haraseth ^ isa.xvi. 7, ii. 

left they the stones thereof ; howbeit the slingers went 

about it, and smote it. 26. And when the king of Moab 

saw that the battle was too sore for him, he took with him 

20. Behold, there came water by the way of Edom. This was probably 
not a miraculous supply of water, but the result of some storm at a 
distance from the camp. Tlie rain flooded the lower ground and was 
retained in the trenches which had been dug at the prophet's bidding. 

23. And they said, This is blood. The Moabites did not know that this 
rain had taken place ; and they were deceived either by the red of the 
sunrise, or perhaps Ijy the fact that the torrent-water may have been 
coloured by the redness of the soil washed down with it. Edom means 

25. Kir-haraseth. This was apparently one of the very few strong- 
holds of Moab ; and the only way by which the allied armies could attack 
it was by the slingers, who would correspond to the sliarpshooters of 
modern warfare. These made it impossible for the defenders to man the 
walls, and the city would have been taken and destroyed but for the 
events recorded in the next verses. 

164 -2 KINGS II. ; III. 

seven hundred men that drew swords, to break through 

even unto the king of Edom : but they could not. 27. 

Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in 
j Amos ii. 1. his stead, and •'offered him for a burnt offering upon the 
11 wrath. wall. And there was a great ^^ indignation against Israel : 

and they departed from him, and returned to their own 


27. Then lie took his eldest son— and offered him for a burnt offering-. 

An awful sacrifice of this kind was not uncommon among ancient nations 
in times of great extremity. Agamemnon is said to have offered up 
his daughter Ipliigeneia at Aulis, when the Grecian fleet was weather- 
bound. So here the king of Moab makes a final offering to his god 
Chemosh in order to win the victor3\ (The incident referred to by Amos 
ii. 1 seems to be something different. ) 

And there was great indignation against Israel. The meaning of this 
is much disputed. It would naturally mean that God shewed His in- 
dignation against Israel, but this does not seem in accordance with the 
context. Other suggestions are that general indignation was felt against 
Israel by their allies at having brought about, by their invasion of 5loab, 
such a horrible act ; or that there was such indignation among the 
besiegers that they raised the siege, perhaps influenced by superstitious 


The Ascension of Elijah 

Matter. Method. 

1. Elijah taken to heaven. 1. Describe the ascension of 

Death is not the end of man. Elijah ; refer to Enoch, Gen. v. 24. 
™'l„^/l®'!.^.l7^iivfAT.^'!^L^^^^^^ Ask whether Elijah was ever 

seen again. Refer to the Gospel 

the nations of antiquity arrived by 
one path or another, was not at 
first very prominent in the religion accounts of the Transfiguration, 
of Israel. It was not directly re- 
vealed perhaps till Daniel's time 
(Dan. xii. 2). 

Yet from the earliest ages the Elijah's ascension would make 
belief undoubtedly existed, and men think it possible that there is 
from time to time God gave ^ life after this life ; and a better 
proof of it, sometimes indirectly in ^-^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ g^^^ 
words, of which the full meaning -,^ , .,-.,. 

was not grasped at the time (see ^^^ "^^^ ^'■«^'" ^^'^ *« ^'^ t^'"*^- 
S. Matt. xxii. 32) ; sometimes by Why ? Christ has ascended, 
examples, of which by far the most Cf. S. John xiv. 2 ; xx. 17. 
notable is that of Elijah. He was 
visibly taken away from human 
sight ; his body disappeared. 



Lesson XVIII — continued. The Ascension of Elijah 


Some of tlie questions raised by 
this event are inexplicable at pre- 
sent ; but it certainly is a proof of 
two things : 

(a) Man is immortal ; 

(6) Man's true place hereafter is 
with God. 

It is au ancient belief that the 
creation of man was intended to 
fill the places forfeited b}' the fallen 
angels. Whether that is so or not, 
the ascension of Elijah points the 
way prophetically to the ascension 
of man, which is fulfilled implicitly 
in the ascension of Christ, the 
second Adam, the true head and 
King of humanity, in Whom all 
things will be ' gathered together 
in one' (Eph. i. 10) — 

' He has raised our human nature on the 

clouds to God's riglit hand ; 
There we sit in heavenly' places, there with 

Him in glory stand : 
Jesus reigns, adored by angels ; man v/itli 

God is on the throne, 
Mighty Lord, in Tliine Ascension, we by 

faith behold our own.' 

2. The Spirit rests on Elisha. 

The succession of those commis- 
sioned by God to do His work on 
the earth cannot be broken. God, 
indeed, 'fulfils Himself in many 
ways,' but the torch of Divine 
truth and grace can never be ex- 
tinguished ; it is passed through the 
ages from hand to hand. 

But the resting of the Spirit 
upon Elisha is most significant as 
one of the types of the Apostolic 
ministry. (For other types see 
Num. xi. 16, etc., and Deut. xxxiv. 
9.) So our Lord after His resur- 
rection breathed the Holy Ghost 
upon His Apostles, as if by a new 
act of creation, and said to them, 
' As my Father hath sent me, even 
so send I you ' (S. John xx. '22-3). 
And after His ascension He sent 
visibly the Holy Spirit to rest upon 


2. Kef er back to calling of Elisha. 
So, too, Christ called men to follow 
Him. Give examples. 

And to those of His disciples who 
were faithful He gave His own 

Refer to S. John xx. ; Acts i. 

What use did Elisha make of the 
Spirit he had received? He did 
the same works as Elijah, and even 
in some ways greater ones. 

See what our Lord promised His 
disciples (S. John xiv. 12). 

How has this been fulfilled ? 

The conversion of the world to 
the Faith, which is still going on. 

Forgiveness given to man in Holy 
Baptism, and in Absolution. 



Lesson XV Ill—continued. The Ascension of Elijah 


the whole Church. And just as 
Elisha, humanly speaking, by his 
faith and loyalty in following his 
master won the blessing, so our 
Lord promised the kingdom to His 
Apostles because they had con- 
tinued with Him in His temptations 
(S. Luke xxii. 28-30). 

The commission given to Elisha 
was vindicated by miracles ; and so 
again the Spirit Whom the Apostles 
received was shown not only by the 
' many signs and wonders ' wrought 
by them, but by the permanent 
exercise of a supernatural office 
and authority which they in turn 
handed on to their successors. 

The miracles of Elisha in this 
respect again are typical of laws of 
the kingdom of heaven. The part- 
ing of the waters of Jordan, which 
would recall the passage of the 
Israelites from slavery to a new 
life, is a symbol of the Sacrament 
of Holy Baptism. The healing of 
the unwholesome water suggests to 
us the reconsecration of human life 
in the Church. Marriage is raised 
from the natural to the super- 
natural order ; even every Chris- 
tian meal becomes in a sense a 
'Eucharist.' And the cursing of 
the blasphemers reminds us that 
with greater gifts there is greater 
peril in disregarding them. 

See the examples of Ananias and 
Sapphira and Simon Magus in the 
Acts ; and S. Paul's excommunica- 
tion of Hymena'us and Alexander 
(I Tim. i. 20). Christ gave His 
Apostles power to ' retain ' as well 
as to 'remit' sins; and the bless- 
ings of Holy Church must not make 
us forget the awful sanctions at- 
tached to her ban. ' Binding and 
loosing' alike are ratified in heaven. 


The gifts of the Spirit in Confir- 

The presence of Jesus Christ in 
the Holy Communion. 

Show that these gifts are con- 
tinuous. The Apostles handed on 
their gifts of the Spirit to the 
Bishops of the Church. 

If we receive so great a blessing 
through the Spirit of Christ, how 
terrible it must be to neglect it, or 
even mock at it. 

With elder children, if time 
allows, refer to penance and ex- 
communication, with reference to 
Commination Service. 



Blackboard Sketch. 

The Ascension of Elijah. 



Elijah, . 

Jesus Christ. 

Elisha, . 

The Apostles and their suc- 

cessors the bishops and 


Elijah's mantle, . 

The breathing of the Holy 


The tongues of fire. 


Miracles of the Apostles ; 

Sacraments of the Church. 

Dividing Jordan, 

Holy Baptism. 

''Whosesoever sins ye re- 

Healing the Water, 

mit they are remitted 

Cursing the bias- - 

unto them, and wliose- 

phemers, . 

sover sins ye retain they 

V are retained.' 

168 1 KINGS XXII. 41-43 : 2 CHRON. XVII. 2-10 

1 KINGS XXIL 41-43; 2 CHRON. XVII. 2-19; XIX. 
XX. 1-28, 34-37 

a 2 Chron. xx. AND " Jeliosliaphat the son of Asa began to reign over 

it Jnclali in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 

42. Jehoshaphat was thirty and five years old when 

he began to reign ; and he reigned twenty and five years 

in Jerusalem. And his mother's name ivas Azubah the 

h 2 Chron. x^^i. daughter of Shilhi. 43. And '' he walked in all the ways 
of Asa his father ; he turned not aside from it, doing that 
which was right in the eyes of the Lord : nevertheless the 

c 2 Kings xii. 3. high places were not taken away ; '^for the people offered 
and burnt incense yet in the high places, 

2 CHRON. XVII. 2. And he placed forces in all the fenced 
cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in 

d 2 Chron. xv. the cities of Ephraim, '^ which Asa his father had taken. 3. 
And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked 
in the first ways of his ftither David, and sought not unto 

1 the Baalim. 1 Baalim ; 4. But sought to the LORD God of his father, and 
walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of 
Israel. 5. Therefore the Lord stablished the kingdom in his 
hand ; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents ; and 
he had riches and honour in abundance. 6. And his heart 
was lifted up in the ways of the Lord : moreover he took 

XXII. 41. Jehostiaphat has been alread}^ mentioned by anticipation in 
the account of Ahab's fatal attack on Ranioth-Gilead. The account of 
him in Kings is very meagre ; but a much fuller record is preserved in 

2 Chron. xvii. 3. The first ways of Ms father David. Probably the 
name 'David ' is a copyist's error, and sliould be omitted as in LXX. The 
reference seems to be to Asa, who fell away in his later years from his 
earlj' piety (xiv., xv., xvi.). 

6. And his heart was lifted up. Usually this phrase is used in a bad 
sense, of pride and self-cxaitation. Here apparently it means the lifting 
up of the heart with high aims and large enthusiasms. Jehoshaphat's 
divinely-given prosperity- led him to reformation of national religion, and 
the instruction of his people. 


away the high places and ^ groves out of Jiidah. 7. Also ^ theAsherim. 

in the third year of his reign ■^ he sent to his princes, even s he sent his 

to Ben-hail, and to Obadiah, and to Zechariah, and to 

Nethaneel, and to Michaiah, to teach in the cities of 

Judah. 8. And with them he sent Levites, even Shemaiah, 

and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemi- 

ramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, 

and Tob-adonijah, Levites ; and with them Elishama 

and Jehoram, priests. 9. And they taught in Judah, 

and had the book of the law of the Lord with them, 

and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, 

and ^taught the people. 10. And -'"the fear of the e 2 Chron. x\\ 

Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that ivere f Gen. xxxv. 5. 

round about Judah, so that they made no war against 

Jehoshaphat. 11. Also some of the Philistines brought 

Jehoshaphat presents, and tribute silver; and the Arabians 

brought him flocks, seven thousand and seven hundred 

rams, and seven thousand and seven hundred he goats. 

12. And Jehoshaphat waxed great exceedingly ; and he 

built in Judah castles, and cities of store. 13. And he 

had much business in the cities of Judah : and the men of 

war, mighty men of valour, tvere in Jerusalem. 14. And 

these are the numl^ers of them according to the house of 

their fathers : Of Judah, the captains of thousands ; Adnali 

^ the chief, and with him mighty men of valour three hun- 4 the captain. 

dred thousand. 15. And next to him ivas Jehohanan 

the captain, and with him two hundred and fourscore 

thousand. 16. And next him was Amasiah the son of 

Zichri, who willingly offered himself unto the Lord ; and 

9. And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD 
with them. This remarkable act of Jehoshaphat's should be carefully 
noted. It shows (1) that the Law of Moses was in existence in writing 
at this time, which has sometimes been questioned ; (2) that it was com- 
paratively little known among the people at large, whose religion was 
no doubt traditional, with much of the older and corrupt customs ; e.g. 
the worshipping in ' high places,' still embodied in it. 

10. The fear of the LORD. This is a Hebrew expression, meaning a 
great supernatural fear. It does not imply that the surrounding nations 
arlopted the worship of Jehovah, but they Avcre possessed by a fear and 
reverence for Jehoshaphat in which the hand of God was recognised. 


•2 CHRON. XVII. 2-19: XIX. 

g 1 Kings xvi. 
1, 7; 2 Chron. 
xvi. 7; XX. 34. 

with him two hundred thousand mighty men of valour. 
17, And of Benjamin ; Eliada a mighty man of valour, 
and with him armed men with bow and shield two hun- 
dred thousand. 18. And next him was Jehozabad, and with 
him an hundred and fourscore thousand ready prepared for 
the war. 19. These waited on the king, beside those whom 
the king put in the fenced cities throughout all Judah. . . . 
XIX. 1. And JehoshajDhat the king of Judah returned 
to his house in jDeace to Jerusalem. 2. And ^ Jehu the son 
of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to 
king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and 
love them that hate the Lord ? therefore is wrath upon 
thee from before the Lord, 3. Nevertheless there are 
good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away 
the ^ groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart 
to seek God. 4. And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem : 
and he went out again through the i^eojDle from Beer-sheba 
to mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the Lord 
God of their fathers. 5. And he set judges in the land 
throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city, 
6. And said to the judges. Take heed what ye do : for ye 
judge not for man, but for the Lord, ''who is with you in 
the judgment. 7. Wherefore now let the fear of the 
Lord be upon you ; take heed and do it : for Hhere is no 
iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, 

5 Asheroth. 

h Ps. Ixxxii. 1. 

i Dent. x. 17 ; 
Acts X. 34 ; 
1 S. Peter i. 17, 

XIX. 1. Returned to his house in peace. This refers to the alliance 
with Ahab and the unsuccessful attack on liamoth Gilead, described in 
1 Kings xxii. and '2 C'liron. xviii. 

5. And he set judges in the land. This action, as well as the missionary 
work of ver. 4, was no doubt performed by Jehoshaphat as a fruit of 
repentance, after the rebuke administered by the prophet Jehu. Un- 
just judgment was, and is still, one of the most common and dreaded 
evils of Oriental society. Jehoshaphat aimed (1) at purifying the ordi- 
nary and traditional methods of administering justice in the different 
cities of his kingdom ; (2) at establishing a court of appeal in the capital 
(ver. 8) ; (3) at emphasising in the spirit of the Law of Moses the judicial 
functions of the priesthood. Cf. Dcut. xvii. 9; xix. 17. 

There is an interesting historical parallel to the judicial reforms of 
Jelioshaphat in those of our own Henry it., who, by the Assize of Claren- 
don, 1 166, gave directions for the king's judges to go on circuit, and in 1178 
established the court of the King's Bench to hear appeals from the assizes. 


nor taking of gifts. 8. Moreover in Jerusalem did 
Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and of the priests, and of 
^ the chief of the fathers of Israel, for the judgment of the ^ the heads of 

. the fathers' 

Lord, and for controversies, when they returned to Jeru- houses in Israel, 
salem. 9. And he charged them, saying, Thus shall ye do 
in the fear of the Lord, faithfully, and with a perfect 
heart. 10. And what ^ cause soever shall come to you of 7 controversy, 
your brethren that dwell in their cities, ^ between blood j Deut. xvii. 8. 
and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and 
judgments, ye shall even warn them that they trespass nob 
against the Lord, and so wrath come upon you, and upon 
your brethren : this do, and ye shall not trespass. 11. 
And, behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all 
matters of the Lord ; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, 
the ruler of the house of Judah, for all the king's matters : 
also the Levites shall he officers before you. Deal courage- 
ously, and the Lord shall be with the good. 

XX. 1. It came to pass after this also, that the children 
of Moab, and the children of Amnion, and with them ^ other s some of the 
beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle, marg. Meun'im. 
2. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying. 
There cometli a great multitude against thee from beyond 
the sea ^ on this side Syria ; and, behold, they he in o from Syria. 
''•■ Hazazon-tamar, which is En-gedi. 3. And Jehoshaphat fc Gen. xiv. 7. 
feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and ^ ijroclaimed a i Ezra viii. 21; 
fast throughout all Judah. 4. And Judah gathered them- 
selves together, to ask lielp of the Lord : even out of all 
the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. 5. And 

10. Between blood and blood — i.e. the controversies in Mhich it was 
doubtful whether homicide should be punished by the death of the guilty 
or not. Particular attention is given in the Law (of. Exod. xxi. ; Num. 
XXXV. ) to these problems, with the purpose of checking private vengeance 
and blood-feuds. 

XX. 1. Other beside tbe Ammonites. See Revised Version : the 
Meunim are probably the same as the Maonites of Judges x. 12, and the 
Mehunim of 2 Chron. xxvi. 7, an Arabian tribe. 

2. From beyond the sea — i.e. the Dead Sea, on whose western shore is 
the remarkaV)le oasis of En-gedi, one of the hiding-places of David. See 
G. A. Smith's Hid. Gccj., pp. 269-71. 

17-2 2 CHRON. XX. 1-28, 34-17 

Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judali and 

Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, 

6. And said, Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God 

m Dan. iv. in heaven ? '"■ and rulest 7iot thou over all the kingdoms of 

the heathen ? and in thine hand is there not power and 

might, so that none is able to withstand thee ? 7. Art 

not thou our God, ivJio didst drive out the inhabitants of 

this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed 

n isa. xli. 8 ; of " Abraham thy friend for ever ? 8. And they dwelt 
S. James ii. 23. "^ "^ 

therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy 

1 Kings viii.; name, saying, 9. "If, when evil cometh upon us, as the 

2 Chron. vi. 'Jo? 5 i 5 

sword, judgment, or jDestilence, or famine, we stand before 
this house, and in thy jDresence, (for thy name is in this 
house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt 
hear and helj). 10. And now, behold, the children of 
r Deut. ii. : Ammon and Moab and mount Seir, p whom thou wouldest 

Num. XX. 

not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of 
Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them 
not ; 11. Behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to 
cast us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to 
inherit, 12. our God, wilt thou not judge them? for 
we have no might against this great company that cometh 
against us ; neither knoAV we what to do : but our eyes are 
upon thee, 13. And all Judah stood before the Lord, 
with their little ones, their wives, and their children. 

5. The new court. The meaning of this is uncertain. It may have 
been simply ' the great court ' (iv. 9) or outer court ; or perhaps the same 
place where Solomon stood at the dedication of the Temple (vi, 13). 

7 . And gavest It to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever. This is 
the first place in the liible Avherc this beautiful expression is used of 
Abraham (see reff. ). 'For ever' may, of course, be conditional, as 
other promises in the Old Testament, but it lias generally been believed 
that the promise is onl}' in a])eyance, and that in the end the ' seed of 
Abraham " will return to the Promised Land after their long exile. There 
has been in recent years a very remarkaljle returning of the Jews to 

10. Mount Seir. The possession of the Edomites ; not mentioned by 
name in ver. 1, but no doubt combining Muth their kinsmen the Moabites, 
and their neighbours the Arabians, to gratify their ancient spite against 


14. Theu upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of 

Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite 

of the sons of Asaph, « came the Spirit of the Lord in the | cwfxv'V- 

midst of the congregation ; 15. And he said, Hearken ye, ^-'^^^■- -^^ 

all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king 

Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid 

nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude ; ^ for the r Exod. xiv. ; 

Deut. i. ; 
battle is not your's, but God's. 16. To morrow go ye 2 ciuon. xxxii. 

down against them : behold they come up by the ^^ cliff of ^o ascent. 
Ziz ; and ye shall find them at the end of the ^^ brook, n valley. 
before the wilderness of Jeruel. 17. Ye shall not need to 
fight in this battle : set yourselves, stand ye still, and see 
the salvation of the Lord with you, Judah and Jeru- 
salem : fear not, nor be dismayed ; to morrow go out 
against them : for the Lord ivill be with you. 18. And 
Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground : 
and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before 
the Lord, worshipping the Lord. 19. And the Levites, 
of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of 
the 12 Korhites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel ^' Korahites. 
with a loud voice on high. 20. And they rose early in the 
morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa : and 
as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said. Hear me, 
Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem ; Believe in the 
Lord your God, so shall ye be established ^ ; believe his s is. vii. o. 
prophets, so shall ye prosper. 21. And when he had 
consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the 
Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as 

16. They come up by the cliflf of Ziz. This cliff, or rather ' ascent,' is 
probably a pass which does not follow the direct road from En-gedi, but 
runs through the wilderness of Tekoa. ' It is not a difficult route for an 
army — certainly less steep than any other part of the approach to the 
central plateau from the desert ' (G. A. Smith). 

18. And Jehoshaphat bowed his head. The reverent acceptance of the 
Divine word by both king and people should be noticed. It was charac- 
teristic of true faith, of a right attitude towards God. Compare the 
similar spirit in which David received the great promise in 2 Sam. vii., 
and the Blessed Virgin its fulfilment in S. Luke i. 38. 

21. The beauty of holiness— r. e. the beauty or dignity of the holiness 

174 2 CHRON. XX. 1-28, 34-37 

they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the 
t Ps. cxxxvi. Lord : * for his mercy endureth for ever. 22. And when 
13 liers in wait, they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ^^ ambush- 

ments against the children of Amnion, Moab, and mount 

u Judges vii. 22; Seir, which were come ag;ainst Jndah : and" they were 
1 Sam. xiv. 20. . . 

smitten. 23. For the children of Amnion and Moab 
stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to 
slay and destroy them : and when they had made an end 
of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy 
another. 24. And when Judah came toward the watch 
tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, 
and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, 
and none escaped. 25. And when Jehoshaphat and 
his people came to take away the sj)oil of them, they 
found among them in abundance both riches with the dead 
bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for 
themselves, more than they could carry away : and they 
were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much. 
26. And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in 
the valley of Berachah ; for there they blessed the Lord : 

of God. Holiness is the characteristic revelation of God in the Old Tes- 
tament. The praise of these singers set forth the beauty of what God 
had revealed of Himself to His people. The margin of Revised Version 
has 'in the beauty of holiness,' which would refer to the beauty and 
splendour of an ordered religious service, to the worshippers rather than 
to the object of their worship. But the first interpretation is probably 

22. The LORD set ambushments. We are not told any details about 
these ' ambushments.' It is sufficient for the holy writer that the hand 
of God was visibly recognised in what took place. ' Truly in that tangle 
of low hills and narrow water-courses enough men might hide to surprise 
and overcome a large arm}'. The Bedouin camps are unseen till you are 
just upon them, and the bare banks of a gully, up the torrent-bed of 
which a caravan is painfully making its way, may be dotted in two 
minutes with armed men. It was prol^ably some desert tribes which 
thus overcame Jehoshaphat's enemies before he arrived ' (G. A. Smith's 
But. (?eo(/.,pp. 272-3). 

26. The valley of Berachah. Tlie place is unknown, though alluded to 
in Joel iii. 2. (The ravine of the Kidron by Jerusalem is now called ' the 
valley of Jehoshaphat,' but that name is of Mohammedan origin.) Joel 
speaks of this valley as the scene of future Judgment, no doubt because 
this discomfiture of the heathen hosts through the prayers of the people 


therefore the name of the same pkxce was called, The 
valley of Berachah, unto this day. 27. Then they re- 
turned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehosha- 
phat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with 
joy ; for the Lord had made them to rejoice over their 
enemies. 28. And they came to Jerusalem with psaltries 
and harps and trumpets unto the house of the Lord. . . . 
34. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and 
last, behold they are written in the ^^ book of Jehu the ^-^ iiistory. 

son of Hanani, ^^ who is mentioned in the book of the ^^ which is 

kings of Israel. 35. And ** after this did Jehoshaphat king v i Kings xxii. 

48 49. 

of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who 
did very wickedly : 36. And he joined himself with him 
to make ships to go to Tarshish : and they made the ships 
in Ezion-gaber, 37. Then Eliezer the son of Dodavah of 
Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaj)hat, saying. Because 
thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the Lord hath 
broken thy works. And the ships were broken, that they 
were not able to go to Tarshish. 

of God is a type of the final conflict at the end of the world. Cf. Rev. 
xvi. 14 ; XX. 9. 

36. And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, 
It is ditficult to reconcile, through lack of full information, this account 
with the parallel in 1 Kings xxii., where Jehosliaphat is said to have 
refused the offer of sailors from Aliaziah. It has been suggested that 
Jehoshaphat accepted help in building his shijjs, for which he was de- 
nounced by Eliezer (ver. 37), but refused after they had been wreclvcd at 
Ezion-gaber to have any further assistance in the shape of sailor^'^. 


Jehoshaphat a Type of Christ 

Matter. Method. 

1. The king's goodness. 1. After describing briefly the 

Jehoshaphat, in spite of the righteous acts of Jehoshaphat, draw 

weakness shown in his alliance attention (1) to S. Luke i. 32, 33, 

with Ahab, and his failure to take x ■ ■, -, .i ?> t n\ -^4. 

,. ' , ,, I • 1 ,o,^„^ ;^ M-hich shows the roya/Zy of Christ ; 

away altogether the high places, is j j ' 



Lesson XIX — continued. Jeiioshaphat a Type of CHfiiST 


plainly set before us in Scripture 
as an example of a righteous ruler, 
and liis rule as a type of the king- 
dom of our Lord, 

The following points should be 
brought out : — 

a. His efforts to teach the people 
the Law of God by sending out 
princes and Levites. This may 
suggest the great commission given 
by Christ to His Apostles (S. Matt, 
xxviii. 19, 20). 

h. His reforms in the administra- 
tion of justice; (Jehoshaphat = 
' Jehovah is judge') witli which may 
be compared our Lord's gift of 
judicial authority to His Church 
(S. Matt. xvi. 19; xviii. 17, 18). 
See S. Paul's comments, 1 Cor. vi. 
A Christian king has indeed a 
special Divine authority to adminis- 
ter justice, but it must not be for- 
gotten that the law of Christ is the 
ultimate standard. 

c. His personal example of piety, 
seen in his prayer and his faith. 
Thus again, our Lord has not only 
given commissions to His Church, 
and to all those who rule for Him, 
but He Himself in His human life 
has set the perfect pattern of prayer 
and faith. All that the Church 
commands is what Christ Himself 
ordained either by word or act. 

2. The king's victory. 

This remarkable . victory of 
Jehosliaphat, won in answer to 
prayer, is clearly set before us (see 
Joel iii. 2, 12) as a type of the final 
victory of our Lord Jesiis Christ 
over all the enemies of His Church, 
who at the end of the world will 
combine in one grand effort for the 
overthrow of the Church. 

The enemies of Jehoshaphat were 
not altogether heathen ; Ammon 
and Moab were both related to 
Israel. From this it may be con- 
jectured that the final attacks of 

(2) to S. Matt, xxviii. 17, 18, where 
He assumes His throne and gives 
commands to His princes and His 
priests, i.e. to His Apostles and 

Illustrate from a, h, and c, as 
time permits. 

2. After describing the great 
victory, refer to Rev. xix. 11. 

Show that the Church is the 
army of Christ : each baptized per- 
son is enrolled under His banner. 

The enemies of the Church are — 

(1) Those who tempt to sin, or 
who live in sin, though they bear 
the name of Christ. See Phil. iii. 
IS, 19. 

(2) Those who endeavour to over- 
throw the Catholic Faith, who sug- 
gest doubts about the Bible or 
Christian doctrine. See 1 S. John 
11- 'w 



Lesson XlX—continued. Jehoshaphat a Type of Christ 


Antichrist will be directed against 
the Faith, and will be not alto- 
gether from without. There will 
be ' false Christs ' and ' false pro- 
phets.' Those Mho should have 
been the friends of Christ will turn 
to be His enemies. 

On this deep and mysterious sub- 
ject Rev. xvi.-xx. should be read. 
Ps. XX. may be interpreted as the 
psalm of the King going out to 
battle ; Ps. xxi. as His thanksgiv- 
ing after the final victory. 

3. The king's thanksgiving. 

The faith and prayer which had 
led to the victory are rightly com- 
pleted by thanksgiving, a thanks- 
giving so full of heartfelt jo}^ that 
it left its name on the place of a4c- 
tory, 'Berachah,' 'Blessing.' 

Almost all the types and prophe- 
cies of Christ's Passion end in 
thanksgiving, or the promise of 
thanksgiving. See conclusion of 
Isa. liii. and Psalms xxii. and Ixix. 
Hence, rightly, the great Service 
which is based upon Christ's Death 
and Resurrection is called ' Eucha- 
rist' — 'Thanksgiving.' And this 
earthly thanksgiving of the Church 
looks forward to the eternal tlianks- 
giving of Heaven (Rev. xv. 2-4; xix. 


All will ultimately be overthrown 

1)3^ the Second Coming of Christ in 

answer to the prayers of His Church. 

2 Thess. ii. 8. 

Rev. XX. 9. 

[The teacher must, of course, use 
discretion, and consider the age and 
capacity of children in speaking of 
these mysterious events, which are 
still partly in the future.] 

3. Refer to word ' Eucharist ' ; 
ask its meaning ; explain that it is 
a ' thanksgiving ' for victory, which 
we offer in the Church. 

Speak of the final thanksgiving 
in Heaven, which will never end. 
Illustrate by one of the passages in 
the Revelation referred to. 





Blackboard Sketch. 

Jehoshapliat a 

Type of Christ. 


Jesus Christ. 

1. His goodness (imper- 

1. Perfect Goodness— 


(1) Sent princes and 

(1) Sent out His 

Levites to teach 

Apostles and 

the Law, 

Priests to teach 

the Gospel. 

(2) Administered jus- 

(2) Gave authority 


to His Church. 

(3) Set an example of 

(3) Our perfect pat- 


tern in prayer. 

2, His victory — 

2. Christ's victory — 

Over Amnion and 

Over all sin, and 

Moab, won by 

unbelief, and all 

prayer and faith. 

the power of 

Satan — 

(1) In His Resurrec- 

tion . 

(2) In His Second 


3. His thanksgiving— 

3. Christ's Thanksgiv- 


(1) In Valley of Bless- 

(1) The Eucharist 


on earth. 

(2) At Jerusalem. 

(2) The eternal song 

of Heaven. 



A remarkable parallel iu our own history to Jelioshaphat's miraculous 
victory is to be seen in the ' Alleluia Victory ' of the British Christians, 
led by two bishops, S. Germanus and S. Lupus, over the heathen invaders. 
' A combination of Picts and Saxons menaced the British : German and 
Lupus encouraged them to resistance, joined them in their march, and 
in the Lent of 430 induced the majority, who were still heathens — the 
British clergy having made no impression upon them — to accept daily 
instructions, and to ask for baptism. On Easter Eve the baptisms were 
administered, the great festival was celebrated in a " church " formed out 
of boughs of trees : the British " host" then advanced, the greater part 
of it fresh " from the laver," "and under the generalship of the sometime 
duke of Armorica," who showed his ability in the disposal of his inferior 
forces. He drew them up, as if in ambush, under the rocks of a narrow 
glen, Avhich he had ascertained to lie full in the path of the enemy. As 
the first ranks of the heathen drew near, expecting an easy triumph, 
German bade the Britons repeat after him the one sacred, joyous word 
Avhich they had so lately uttered in their Paschal solemnities. Three 
times he and Lupus intoned it, "Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!" Their 
followers, with one voice, .made the sound echo through the valley : it 
rang from cliff to cliff, it struck the invaders with panic — they fled as if 
the very skies were crashing over them, and many leapt headlong into 
the river, which intercepted their retreat. The Britons, successful with- 
out "striking a blow,"' exulted in a "victory won bj" faith, and clear of 
bloodshed." The scene of this flight is laid by Welsh tradition at Maes- 
Garmon, "German's Field," a mile from Mold, in Flintshire' (Bright, 
Early English Church History, pp. 18-19). 

180 2 KINGS IV. 


IVTOW there cried a certain woman of the wires of the 
J^M sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy 
servant my husband is dead ; and thou knowest 
that thy servant did fear the Lord : and the creditor is 
come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen. 2. 
And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee ? tell 
me, what hast thou in the house ? And she said, Thine 
handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of 
oil. 3. Then he said. Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of 
all thy neighbours, even empty vessels ; borrow not a few. 

4. And when thou art come in, thou slialt shut the door 
upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all 
those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full. 

5. So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and 
upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her ; and she 
poured out. 6. And it came to pass, when the vessels 
were full, that she said unto her son. Bring me yet a vessel. 
And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And 
the oil stayed. 7. Then she came and told the man of 
God. And he said. Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and 

IV. 1. The creditor is come to take unto Mm my two sons to be bond- 
men. This was permitted by the Law of Moses (Lev. xxv. 39-41). But 
certain alleviations were also laid down in the Law. An Israelite might 
not be made a bondservant for life ; he could be redeemed at any time, 
and in any case he must be set free at the year of jubilee. 

;i Borrow not a few. It should be noted that here, just as in the 
miracles of our Lord, the faith of the recipient is put to the test. 
Humanly speaking, it would seem an absurdity to borrow many vessels, 
when she had nothing to put in them ; l^ut the faith of the dead husband, 
who ' did fear the Lord,' lived on in the wife, and so without hesitation 
she obeys the strange command, and her faith receives its reward. 

4. Thou shalt shut the door upon thee. Again, as in our Lord's 
miracles, publicity is avoided. The miracle is an act of mere}', and a 
reward of faith ; it is not for displa}', nor for convincing unbelievers. So 
our Lord led the blind man out of the town (S. Mark viii. 23), and in 
other cases commanded those who were healed to say nothing to any 


live thou and thy children of the rest. 8. And it fell on 

a day, that Elisha passed to « Shiinem, where ivas a great « J^^^i'- xix. 18. 

woman ; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so 

it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to 

eat bread. 9. And she said unto her husband, Behold 

now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which 

passeth by us continually. 10. Let us make a little 

chamber, I pray thee, on the wall ; and let us set for him 

there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick : 

and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn 

in thither. 11. And it fell on a day, that he came thither, 

and he turned into the chamber, and lay there. 12. And 

he said to Gehazi his servant. Call this Shunammite. And 

when he had called her, she stood before him. 13. And 

he said unto him. Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast 

been careful for us with all this care ; what is to be done 

7. Live thou and thy children of the rest. The liberality of God's gifts 
should be noticed. More was given than was needed to pay the debt. 
So the wine made at Cana of Galilee was more than was actually required 
for the feast ; and after the multitudes were fed there were baskets of 
fragments gathered. The spiritual significance of this should not be 
missed, especially as the oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, which God 
does not give 'by measure' (S. John iii. 34, R.V.). It should also be 
noted that the widow's oil in this case was the oil used for anointing the 
body, and this still further brings out the spiritual meaning of the 

8. Shunem. This place, Avhere the Philistines encamped before the 
battle of Gilboa, was near Jezreel, and would be in the road to Carmel. 
It was the home of Abishag (1 Kings i.). 

She constrained him to eat bread. That is, she prevailed on him to 
accept hospitality, as Lydia did Paul and Silas (Acts xvi. 15). Elisha's 
journeys to and fro would probably be for the purpose of visiting the 
different communities of ' the sons of the prophets.' 

10. A little chamber. Probably in a loft, or on the roof, and approached 
by an outside staircase, as is common in Eastern houses, so that Elisha 
might enjoy complete privacy. Of. the priest's rooms, often built above 
the porch of a church in the Middle Ages. 

13. Thou hast been careful for us with all this care. The words used 
in the original signify not onl}^ liousehold diligence, but reverence, such 
as would be paid by devout worshippers to a 'holy man of God.' This 
reverence comes out in all the relations between the Shunammite lady 
and the prophet (cf. verses 15, 37). 

182 2 KINGS IV 

for thee ? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to 
the captain of the host ? And she answered, I dwell 
among mine own people. 14, And he said, What then is 
to be done for her ? And Gehazi answered. Verily she 
hath no child, and her husband is old. 15. And he said, 
Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the 
1 when the time door. 16. And he said. About this season, ^ according to 

cometli round. . n -,- ^ j, i 

b Gen. xviii. 10, the time 01 liie, ° thou slialt embrace a son. And she said, 


Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine 
handmaid. 17. And the woman conceived, and bare a 
son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according 
to the time of life. 18. And when the child was grown, it 
fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers. 
19. And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And 
he said to a lad. Carry him to his mother. 20. And when 
he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat 
on her knees till noon, and then died. 21. And she went 
up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut 

13. Wouldest thou be spoken for to the king-, or to the captain of the 
host. Elisha at this time was evidently a person of intluence at the court, 
in spite of the fact that he was an opponent of the court religion. Pro- 
bably the recent miraculous deliverance b}' his word of the allied armies 
ill the campaign against the Moabites (chap, iii.) had gained him respect 
with Jehoram, and also with the ' captain of the host ' — probably the 
most powerful official next to the king. 

I dwell among mine own people. There is a cpiiet dignity and reserve 
about this reply which is characteristic of the speaker. Throughout the 
chapter the Shunammite appears as a woman, not merely of wealth and 
position, but of character. She is hospitable without ostentation, rever- 
ent, dignified, a woman of energetic action ratiier than of many words. 
Her answer to the prophet implied not only that she had no needs, but 
also no desire of gain or worldly advancement, a great contrast to the 
prophet's own servant, Gehazi. What she did desire she hid deep in her 
heart, and another liad to speak it for her. See a striking chapter on 
this subject in Shorthouse's Sir Percival. 

21. And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God. 
Here again the character of the Sliunammite is displayed. She does not 
give way to tlie usual lamentations and wailings of the East, but acts at 
the impulse of faith. The child had been given b\' (lod, at the word of 
His prophet, and now, though he has died of sunstroke, it is still to (^od 
and His prophet that she calmly looks and hastes as her one hope. It is 
a natural tendency to suppose that the holiness of God's saints extends 
in some way to the material objects connected with them, and such an 


the door upon him, and went out. 22. And she called unto 

her husband, and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the 

2 young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the ^ servants. 

man of God, and come again. 23. And he said. Wherefore 

wilt thou go to him to day ? it is neither new moon, nor 

sabbath. And she said. It shall he well. 24. Then she 

saddled an ass, and said to her servant, Drive, and go 

forward ; slack not thij riding for me, except I bid thee. 

25. So she went and came unto the man of God to mount 

Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw 

her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, 

yonder is that Shunammite : 26. Eun now, I j^ray thee, to 

meet her, and say unto her Is it well with thee ? is it well 

with thy husband ? is it well with the child ? And she 

answered. It is well. 27. And when she came to the man 

of God to the- hill, she caught him by the feet : but Gehazi 

came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said. 

Let her alone ; for her soul is vexed within her : and the 

Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me. 28. Then 

she said. Did I desire a son of my lord ? did I not say. Do 

not deceive me ? 29. Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up thy 

, «. • , 1 • 1 T 1 ,1 c Exod. vii. 19 ; 

loms, and '' take my staff m thme hand, and go thy way : xiv. 16. 

idea certainly has Scriptural support. The Shunammite places her dead 
boy on the prophet's bed. Cures were wrought by the shadow of S. Peter 
and by handkerchiefs brought from the body of S. Paul (Acts v. 15; 
xix. 12), and many believe they have been wrought at times by the relics 
of the Saints. 

23. It is neither new moon, nor sabbath. It seems clear from these 
words that it was customary on days of religious obligation for the 
Shunammite to visit the prophet ; so we may conclude that he, and pro- 
bably other prophets, during the corruption and idolatry of the priest- 
hood, offered sacrifices and performed religious services, which were 
attended by the devout in Israel who had not acquiesced in calf -worship 
or Baal-worship. 

26. And she answered, It is well — lit. 'peace.' We may suppose 
either that she answers in this way, because she cannot speak to anyone 
but the prophet himself of her great sorrow ; or (which seems more 
worthy) that this is the word of faith, she looks deeper than the literal 
meaning of the question. It is Avell with the child, for he is in God's 
hands. Cf. the words of Job i. 21. 

184 2 KINGS ly 

if thou meet any man, salute him not ; and if any salute 
thee, answer him not again : and lay my staff upon the 
face of the child. 30. And the mother of the child said, 
As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave 
thee. And he arose, and followed her. 31. And Gehazi 
passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of 
the child ; but there ivas neither voice, nor hearing. Where- 

d S. John xi. fore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, ^ The 
child is not awaked. 32. And when Elisha was come into 
the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his 
bed. 33. He went in therefore, and shut the door upon 

c 1 Kings xvii. them twain, '^ and prayed unto the Lord. 34. And he went 
up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his 
mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his 
hands : and he stretched himself upon the child ; and the 
flesh of the child waxed warm. 35. Then he returned, and 
walked in the hmise to and fro ; and went up, and stretched 

29. If thou meet any man, salute Mm not. A similar command was 
given by our Lord to the seventy (S. Luke x. 4). The business on which 
the messenger was sent was too solemn to allow of delay, even of ordi- 
nary human intercourse. Some hav^e thought also that the prophet 
knowing the ambitious character of his servant, wished him to refrain 
from any talking or boasting about the work on which he had been sent. 

31. The child is not awaked. It is difficult to understand this incident 
of the sending of Gehazi and its failure. The latter may have been due 
to the lack of true faith on Gehazi's part. Or there may be, as the older 
writers have thought, a hidden spiritual meaning. The rod represents 
the Law, or the old covenant, which had no saving efficacy. It needed 
the actual presence in the world of Christ Himself (of Whom Elisha is 
such a remarkable type) before human nature dead in sin could be re- 
stored to life. 

34. And put his mouth upon his moutli, etc. The restoration of the 
dead child to life by the contact of the prophet's body is a significant 
type of the Incarnation. Christ has restored our nature by Himself 
entering into union Avith it. Cf. — 

' O wisest love ! that flesh and blood 
Winch did in Adam fail, 
Sliould strive afresli against the foe, 
Should strive and should prevail : 

'And that a higher gift than grace 
Should flesh and blood refine, 
God's presence and His very Self 
And essence all-divine.' 

Jlymns A. and M. 172. 


himself upon him : and the child sneezed seven times, and 
the child opened his eyes. 36. And he called Gehazi, and 
said, Call this Shunammite. So he called her. And when 
she was come in unto him, he said. Take up thy son. 37. 
Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to 
the ground, and ■'took up her son, and went out. 38. And / Heb. xi. 35. 
Elisha came again to Gilgal : and there was a dearth in the 
land ; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him : 
and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and 
seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets. 39. And one 
went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild 
vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and 
came and shred them into the pot of pottage : for they 
knew them not. 40. So they poured out for the men to 
eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pot- 
tage, that they cried out, and said, tho^l man of God, 
there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof. 
41. But he said. Then bring meal. And he cast it into the 
pot ; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may 

38. And the sons of the prophets were sitting- before him. We see 
here an interesting picture of the simple lives of these communities 
of prophets, who seem to have resembled the early Christian monks. 
They live in the luimblest manner, of what thej^ gather themselves : a 
plain pottage of wild herbs is their fare in this tin:ie of dearth. They 
sit around their master and listen to his religious instructions. So the 
monks of Egypt in later days would sit at the feet of some father of the 
desert and receive the rules which he gave them for living the Christian 

39. And found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds. There 
seems little doubt tliat this plant was the colocynth, wiiich is said to be 
easily mistaken for the edible 'globe cucumber.' It has leaves and 
tendrils like a vine (see the picture in Smith's Bible Dictionary) ; its 
fruit is the size and colour of an orange, and it grows still on the sands 
by the Dead Sea, and is stated to have been found at Gilgal and Engedi. 
Its taste is horribly bitter, and while not actually poisonous, would 
cause sickness and loathing. 

41. But he said, Then taring- meal. Just as previously he had healed 
the waters of Jericho by casting in salt, so he removes the taint of the 
pottage by putting in something wholesome and pure. xVgain, there is a 
type of the Incarnation — the bitter taint in human nature, which came 
from the P'all, is removed by the entrance into tlie M''orld of the Virgin- 
born, ' the Bread of God.' 

186 2 KINGS IV. 

eat. And there was no harm in the pot. 42. And there 
came a man from Baal-shalisha, and brought the man of 
God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley, and 

3 fresh. 2 full ears of corn ^in the husk thereof. And he said, Give 

4 in his sack. 

5 servant. unto the people, that they may eat. 43. And his ^ servitor 

said, What, should I set this before an hundred men? 

He said again. Give the people, that they may eat : for 

g s. Matt, xiv.; thus saith the Lord, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof. 

XV. ; S, Mark o • 

vi. ; viii. ; 44. So he set it before them, and ^"they did eat, and left 

s! John v'i.' thereof, according to the word of the Lord. 

42. Baal-shalisha. The place is unknown, though no doubt it was in 
' the land of Shalisha ' (1 Sam. ix. 4), which bordered on the hill country 
of p]phraim. 

Bread of the firstfruits. The phrase suggests a religious offering, 
though it is not certain whether it was simply an offering to the prophet 
as a holy person ; or whether it was the offering of the sanctuary (Lev, 
xxiii. 10, etc. ) presented to Elisha in default of a true priesthood and 

Twenty loaves of barley. The invariable manner of baking bread was 
in small round cakes, three of which were apparently a meal for one 
person, 8. Luke xi. 5. Twenty loaves of our English baking might be 
enough for a hundred persons in a time of scarcity ; but these twenty 
cakes were carried by one man, and apparently in his wallet (see R.V. ). 
To set them before so large a company was evidently an absurdity 
(V. 43), 

Full ears of corn. These were ears of green corn (see R.V. ) which 
were usually roasted or fried. 

44. They did eat, and left thereof. Here again is a remarkable antici- 
pation, though to a limited degree, of the great miracles of our Lord. 
This was a miracle of mercy, and also suggested the truth, more fully 
brought out in our Lord's great discourse in the synagogue of Caper- 
naum (8. John vi.) that God is able to supply human need not only by 
material food, but by ' the bread that endureth unto everlasting life.' 




Elisha a Type of Christ 

Introduction. — The parallel between Elisha and our Lord is remark- 
able, especially when we consider the parallel between Elijah and 
S. John the Baptist. The whole life and the works of Elisha seem 
designed by the Holy Spirit to prepare men for the coming of Christ, 
and to help men to understand Christ better when He did come. It is 
significant that even the name Elisha is closely akin in meaning to that 
of Jesus. It means 'God is Saviour,' while Jesus means 'Jehovah is 
Saviour. ' 


1. Elisha's manner of life. 

Elisha did not live in the seclu- 
sion of the deserts like his master, 
but lived for the most part before 
the eyes of men, moving from place 
to place, teaching, and instructing 
the different associations of pro- 
phets. He was intimate with the 
wealthy, as well as the poor, and 
was no stranger even at the royal 

His acceptance of the hospitality 
of tlie Sliunammite woman is sug- 
gestive of tlie willingness of our 
Lord to be present at feasts, to 
accept the entertainment of friends, 
to be ministered to by the holy 
women w'ho followed Him. 

At the same time the kindness of 
the Shunammite, and the reward 
she received, illustrate the virtue 
of hospitality, which is a Christian 
duty (Heb. xiii. 2), and especially 
the call to entertain and assist the 
ministers of Christ in their work. 
See Rom. xvi. 2 ; Acts xvi. 15 ; 
2 Tim. i. 16-18. 

2. Elisha's miracles. 

(1) Multiplication of food. Two 
remarkable examples are given : 
the widow's oil, which seems to 
suggest the miracle of Cana, and 
the barley loaves and ears of corn, 


1 . Illustrate by selected incidents 
from our Lord's life and ministry. 

The feasts in the houses of Levi 
(S. Luke V. 29), and Zacchteus (S. 
Luke xix. 5). Cf. S. Matt.-xi. 19. 

The entertainment in the house 
of Martha and Mary at Bethany 
(S. John xii.). 

See also S. Mark xv. 40, 41, and 
S. Luke viii. 1-3. 

Point out the Christian duty of 
hospitality. Refer to S. Matthew^ 
XXV. 35, 36. 

2. S. Johnii. 1-11. 

(1) The feeding of the five thou- 
sand, recorded by all the four 
evangelists (the only miracle so 



Lesson X^— continued. Elisha a Type of Christ 


which is a shadow of the greater 
miracles of feeding the multitude. 
In all these cases we are to note 
the tender care for the bodily needs 
of men which is one of the charac- 
teristics of the Gospel. 

(2) The healing of what by nature 
is deadly. The purifying of the 
waters of Jericho has already been 
noted. In the healing of the 
poisoned pottage, we have a type 
of the works of our Lord in curing 
disease, and though no exactly 
parallel miracle of His is recorded, 
an illustration is found in the 
promises to the Ax^ostles (S. Mark 
xvi. 18). 

(3) The raising of the dead. The 
raising of the Shunammite's son is 
tlie most remarkable miracle of the 
kind in the Old Testament, and its 
details are singular]}^ suggestive. 

The faith and resignation of the 
mother ; the inability of the pro- 
phet's servant to do the miracle ; 
the bodily contact between the 
prophet and the child ; the gradual 
performance of the miracle (see 
S. Mark viii. 22-26) are all remark- 
ably like incidents of the Gospel 

The works of Christ, though 
unique in their greatness, were all 
on a line, as it were, with the par- 
tial revelations of God's power 
and love in the Old Testameiit ; and 
faith will see in the earlier miracles 
a corroboration of those of the In- 


The feeding of the four thousand 
recorded by S. Matthew and S. 

(2) All things were created good 
by God. But what is evil or poison- 
ous or destructive in the world is, 
if not directly the result of sin, a 
reminder of sin and of the imper- 
fection of our present state. 

Show that our Lord's miracles of 
healing disease are parallel to 
Elisha's miracles, though much 

Refer to Acts xxviii. 1-6. 

(3) S. Matthew ix. 18-26. . 
S. Luke vii. 11-17. 

S. John xi. 

Acts ix. 36-41 ; xx. 9-12. 



Blackboard Sketch. 

Elisha a 

Type of Christ. 



('God is Saviour') 

('Jehovah is Saviour') 

Entertained by the 

Entertained by Levi, 


Zaccheus, Martha, 

and Mary. 

Multiplied the 

Turned water into 

M'idow's oil, 

wine ; fed the mul- 

and the food. 

titudes with a few 

loaves and little 


Healed the poison- 

Cured diseases. 

ous food. 

Raised the Shuuam- 

Raised to life Jairus' 

mite's son to life. 

daughter ; the 

widow's son ; Lazarus. 

Will raise us at the 

Last Da}'. 

190 2 KINGS Y. 


a s. Luke iv. 27. HVyOW « Naaman, captain of the host of the king of 

1 1 Syria, was a great man with his master, and 

honourable, because by him the Lord had given 

1 victory, 1 deliverance unto Syria : he was also a mighty man in 

valour, but he was a leper. 2. And the Syrians had gone 
out by companies, and had brought away captive out 
of the land of Israel a little maid ; and she waited on 
Naaman's wife. 3. And she said unto her mistress, Would 
God my lord ivere with the prophet that is in Samaria ! 
for he would recover him of his leprosy. 4. And one went 
in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid 
that is of the land of Israel. 5. And the king of Syria 
said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of 
Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents 
of silver, and six thousand ineces of gold, and ten changes 

V. 1. Because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria. The 
Syrians themselves M'ould doubtless have ascribed their victories to the 
help of their own false gods ; but the sacred writer knows that ' the 
Lord' (Jehovah) is the God of the Avhole earth, and that all victories 
are given or permitted by Him, even such a victory as the Syrians had 
won over Ahab and Jehoshaphat (1 Kings xxii.) which was of course a 
Divine judgment. 

But he was a leper. Naaman's leprosy could not have been of the 
most severe kind, or at any rate have reached an advanced stage ; for 
it does not seem to have interfered with his position at court (ver. 18.). 
The strict isolation of the leper which was commanded by the Law of 
Moses was not observed in Syria ; and, indeed, this isolation Avas not merely 
for sanitary reasons, for leprosy is not a particularl}^ contagious disease, 
but for religious and typical ones. Leprosy is the special t^'pe of sin in 
the Bible, and the ceremonies connected with its purification are intended 
to suggest the Atonement of Christ, and the ministry of forgiveness in 
His Church (Lev. xiv.). 

5. Go to, go. The Hebrew word here is a different one from that 
similarly translated in other places ; and means simply ' go at once.' 

The king of Israel — probably Jehoram, the son of Ahab, afterwards 
killed by Jehu. 

Ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold. TJiere was no 
coined money in Israel at this date ; and the precious metals were simply 
used by weight. According to tlie values of later history (estimating 


of raiment. 6. And he brought the letter to the king of 

Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, 

behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, 

that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. 7. And it 

came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, 

that he rent his clothes, and said. Am I God, to kill and to 

make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover 

a man of his leprosy ? wherefore consider, I j^ray you, 

and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me. 8. And 

it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that 

the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the 

king, saying. Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes ? let 

him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a 

projDhet in Israel. 9. So Naaman came with his horses 

and with his ^ chariot, and stood at the door of the house - chariots. 

of Elisha. 10. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, 

saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh 

shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. 11. But 

Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I 

thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand and 

call on the name of the Lord his God, and ^ strike his hand s wave. 

over the place, and recover the leper. 12. Are not Abana 

and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters 

of Israel ? may I not wash in them, and be clean ? So he 

each piece of gold as a 'shekel of gold'), the total value of the gold and 
silver taken bj' Naaman would be about £15,750. 

1(1. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him. It was through no want 
of courtesy, nor from any desire to humiliate Naaman that Elisha would 
not meet him personally. Rather the prophet's desire was to avoid any 
display of miraculous gifts. He wished it to be seen that cures w^ere not 
wrought hj him personally, but by God through him. At the same time 
it was a test of Naaman's faith, which is always a condition in the 
performance of ' mighty works.' 

11. Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me. Naaman's idea 
of a prophet was no doubt derived from what he had seen in his own 
country. The heathen prophets were not far removed from magicians. 
The}' would have made a great display over so eminent an inquirer as 
Naaman, and have performed incantations, with much outward ritual, 
waving of hands, etc., such as Naaman expected from Elisha. 

1-2. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all 
the waters of Israel ? Damascus owes its beauty and singular fertility to 

192 2 KINGS V 

turned and went away in a rage. 13. And his servants 
came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if 
the i^roj^het had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest 
thou not have done it ? how much rather then, when he 
saith to thee, Wash, and be clean ? 14. Then went he 
down, and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, 
according to the saying of the man of God : and his flesh 
came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was 
clean. 15. And he returned to the man of God, he and all 
his company, and came, and stood before him : and he said, 
Behold, no.w I know that ilierc is no God in all the earth, 

4 present. but in Israel : now therefore, I jmiy thee, take a ^blessing 

of thy servant. 16. But he said, As the Lord liveth, 
before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged 
him to take it ; but he refused. 17. And Naaman said, 

5 If not, yet I 5 ghall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant 
pray thee, let j i j j & J 

there be given, two mules' burden of earth ? for thy servant will henceforth 

ofi'er neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, 

but unto the Lord. 18. In this thing the Lord pardon 

thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of 
h chap. vii. 2, -, ■ ■, 

17. Kimmon to worship there, and '' he leaneth on my hand, and 

the river Abana, now called 'Barada,' one of the Greek names for which 
was ' Chrysorrhoas,' 'golden streams.' The Pharpar, now 'Awaj,'is a 
smaller river at some distance from the city. 

The muddy flow of the Jordan would contrast unfavourably, from a 
merely human point of vieAv, Avith these rivers. Damascus is so beauti- 
ful, that legend tells how Mahomet refused to enter it, because man can 
have, as he said, but one paradise, and the true one is above. 

16. I will receive none. The refusal of Elisha to accept a present 
stands again in striking contrast to the usual behaviour of heathen 
priests and soothsayers, who were greedy of gaiu, and exacted large sums 
from those who came to inquire of them. In this respect, Bahiam, though 
a prophet of Jehovah, was on the level of the heathen. Even the prophet's 
servant cannot understand such disinterested conduct. 

17. Two mules' burden of earth. Naaman still thinks of Jehovah as 
being peculiarly the national God of Israel. He thinks Him, however, 
more jjowerful than his own Syrian gods ; and proposes, as it were, to 
carry the presence of Jcliovah along with the soil of Palestine into his 
own land and there worship Him, as if in Palestine. 

18. Rimmon— lit. ' the most high,' the name of the national god of the 
Syrians of Damascus ; seen also in such proper names as Tab-Rimmon 
(1 Kings XV. 18). 


I bow myself in the house of Kimmon : when I bow down 
myself in the house of Eimmon, the Lord pardon thy 
servant in this thing. 19. And he said unto him, Go in 
peace. So he departed from him a little way. 20. But 
Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, 
my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not re- 
ceiving at his hands that which he brought : but, as the 
Lord liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of 
him. 21. So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when 
Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from 
the chariot to meet him, and said. Is all well ? 22. And he 
said. All is well. My master hath sent me, saying. Behold, 
even now there be come to me from ^ mount Ephraim e the hill 
two young men of the sons of the prophets : give them, I 
pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments. 
23. And Naaman said. Be content, take two talents. And 
he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, 
with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of 
his servants ; and they bare them before him. 24. And when 

18. The LORD pardon thy servant in this thing. Naaman naturally does 
not wish to offend his royal master by refusing to accompany him to the 
temple of Rimmon. Such a compromise would, of course, be sinful in a 
Christian, but as yet the kingdom of heaven had not been opened ' to all 
believers,' and the prophet had no Divine commission for the conversion 
of Naaman or the Sj^rians. He therefore bids him 'go in peace,' 
without definitely giving judgment on the matter. It was sufficient 
for the present that Naaman had been taught a great lesson, the 
superiority of the God of Israel over all other so-called gods. 

20. As the LORD liveth, I will run after him. It is noteworthy that the 
same solemn oath by which the prophet had confirmed his refusal to take 
a present is used by his servant to strengthen himself in his deceit. The 
worst sin is that which is a perversion of what is holy. It was the sin 
of the scribes and Pharisees of our Lord's time. 

22. My master hath sent me, saying. Gehazi's lie was cleverly in- 
vented. He knew that it would not do to say that Elisha had changed 
his mind, and now desired a present for himself. He pretends that it is 
required by the prophet for the sake of others, for charity, to meet an 
unexpected need. 

23. Be content, take two talents. This phrase has, of course, the 
opposite shade of meaning to its ordinary use with us. * Be content ' 
means, not 'be satisfied,' but 'do not refuse to take double wliat you 


194 -2 KINGS V. 

he came to the " tower, he took them from their hand, and 
bestowed them in the house : and he let the men go, and 
they departed. 25. But he went in, and stood before his 
master. And Elisha said unto him. Whence comest thou, 
Gehazi ? And he said, Thy servant went no whither. 
26. And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, 
when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee ? 

c 1 Cor. vii. 29- '^ Is it Sh time to receive money, and to receive garments, and 
oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and men- 

i 1 Tim. vi. 10. Servants, and maidservants? 27. '^The leprosy therefore of 
Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for 


e Exod. iv. 6 ; ever. And he went out from his presence a leper ^ as white 

Num. xii. 10. 

as snow. 

26. Is it a time to receive money ? etc. The prophet enumerates the 
things which Gehazi had doubtless thought of purchasing with his gains. 
Gehazi, although in close attendance on God's prophet, had, like Judas 
Iscariot, utterly failed to understand the purpose of the prophet's mission, 
being blinded with covetousness. It was a time of false religion and 
moral corruption, of danger from Syria without, and the sins of the house 
of Ahab within ; a time which called not for gathering money and living 
in ease, but for holy poverty and purity of life, as a witness to God in an 
evil age. 

27. The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee. In mercy 
God, by the mouth of His prophet, inflicts a temporal punishment upon 
the sinner, which may have the effect of bringing him to repentance, and 
be a warning to others in days to come. 

This punishment is a type of the ' retaining ' of sins in the Catholic 
Church, a power which our Lord committed to His apostles equally with 
that of forgiving them. 


Naaman — The Leper cleansed 

Matter. Metuod. 

1. Naaman's leprosy. 1. Explain leprosy : a disease 

Leprosy was the great blot upon which eats away the flesh, as rust 

a life which in other respects was corrodes iron ; incurable, horrible, 

honourable and successful ; and and ultimately causing death, 

although Syrian custom did not Describe Naaman's position. The 

apparently exclude the leper from ^ . , . .^ K , , , 

ordinary society occupations, the typical significance of leprosy had 

disease was evidently recognised as better be reserved for tlie last pomt 

a terrible evil. in the lesson. 



Lesson XXI — continued. Naaman — The Leper cleansed 

The Law of Moses singled leprosy 
out of all diseases as being especially 
a type of sin. Although not neces- 
sarily contagious, it involved separa- 
tion from the congregation of Israel, 
the leper had to remain ' without 
the camp,' thus symbolising the 
holiness which befits the presence 
of God and the sin which excludes 
from it. 

2, The cleansing of Naaman. 
We should especially note — 

(1) How different was the cleans- 
ing to anything which Naaman's 
pride, or traditions, or natural 
reason expected. 

(2) It was entirely free, without 
payment, an act of grace. 

(3) God alone was the giver of it ; 
the prophet purposely abstains from 
any personal intervention, beyond 
giving God's message, lest the cure 
should be attributed to his own 
sanctity, or to the power of any 
supernatural or magical knowledge 
he possessed. 

(4) It was accomplished by the 
use of external means, as a test of 
faith and obedience, and yet means 
of the simplest character against 
which natural pride revolted, lest 
any virtue should be attributed to 
the means in themselves. 

3. Christ and the leper. 

Elisha stands out as the most 
remarkable type of Christ in this 
action, though only a type or 
shadow, for Elisha cured Naaman 
only as an instrument, a voice by 
whom God spoke ; Christ healed 
the lepers by His own power as 
God, symbolised by His touching 
the leper (S. Matt. viii. 3, etc. ). 

The cleansing of the leper was a 
type of the forgiveness of human 
sin, and the cleansing of human 
nature which was accomplished by 
the Incarnation. 

This forgiveness and cleansing is 


2. Bring out the different points 
of the cure, and show that the 
underlying meaning of all the cir- 
cumstances was that God alone, by 
His own free gift, was Naaman's 

Naaman is led to recognise this 
(ver. 17). 

Contrast, if time permits, with 
Gehazi's selfishness and covetous- 
ness. [Or a separate lesson might 
easily be constructed on Gehazi, 
bringing out his covetousness and 
consequent blinding of self to God 
and God's requirements (ver. 26), 
his falsehood and his punishment.] 

3. Show that leprosy is a type of 
sin, which is the only thing that 
really spoils life, and unless for- 
given and cured, must lead to 
eternal loss. 

Our Lord Jesus Christ not only 
cleansed the leper, but He forgave 
sins, and commanded His apostles 
to do the same (.S. John xx. 23). 

In the Church, God forgives sins 
for Jesus Christ's sake, and gives 
men grace to be pure from sin. 
But He gives these blessings in 



Lesson XXI — continued. Naaman — The Leper cleansed 

communicated to man by the Sacra- 
ments. Holy Baptism is the most 
remarkable antitype of Naaman's 
washing in Jordan. The outward 
signs of Baptism — the matter, 
water ; and the form, the name of 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are 
only means. They have no super- 
natural virtue in themselves ; but 
by them God truly works, in answer 
to obedience, which is the test of 
faith. Obedience brings the child 
to Baptism, and God gives him 
thereby what he could not have by 

Natural pride and natural reason 
may rebel at the simplicity of the 
means, but the blessing cannot be 
had without the means, because 
God has so ordained. 

particular ways, which are very 
simple, and must be used by us in 
obedience and faith, even if we can- 
not altogether understand them. 
Sins are forgiven in — 
Holy Baptism, 
Grace to be pure from sin is given 
in — 

Holy Baptism, 
Holy Communion. 
God's priests are ministers of 
these things to us, as Elisha was 
of God's gift to Naaman. The 
Sacraments are always given in the 
Church without charge. 

Blackboard Sketch. 

Naaman— The Leper cleansed. 


a type 

of mankind. 




Elisha, . 


Christ and His 

Washing in Jordan, 


Holy Baptism. 




Naaman's unwill- 



natural pride. 

Naaman's obedience 

5 )} 

the faith and obedi- 
ence which God 



2 KINGS VI. ; VII. ; VIII. 1-6 

ND the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold 

now, " the place where we dwell ^ with thee is too a isa. xiix. 20. 
strait for us. 2. Let us go, we pray thee, unto 
Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make 
us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, 
Go ye. 3. And one said. Be content, I pray thee, and go 
with thy servants. And he answered, I will go. 4. So 
he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they 
cut down wood. 5. But as one was felling a beam, the ax 
head fell into the water : and he cried, and said, Alas, 
master ! for it was borrowed. 6. And the man of God 
said. Where fell it ? And he shewed him the place. And ^ Exod. xv. 25. 

- and made the 

he cut down a stick, ^ and cast it in thither ; and - the iron iron to swim. 

1. Beliold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for 
us. Tlie place spoken of would probabl}^ be Jericho or Gilgal ; it was 
evidently near Jordan. Elisha himself did not live permanently there. 
See Revised Version. The sons of the prophets dwell there ' before ' him — 
i.e. under his oversight. It was a proof that the labours of Elijah and 
Elisha were bearing fruit when the communities of the prophets of the 
true God were increasing in number. 

The same expression occurs in Isa. xlix. 20 as a prophecy of the future 
increase of the Church, and its opening to the Gentiles. The passage is 
read for one of the lessons on the Epiphany. 

2. Let us make a place there. The prophets meditate an entire removal, 
and the building of a new community-house on the banks of Jordan, 
with the wood with which these banks are thickly timbered. The whole 
incident is similar to what is recorded of the beginning of many of the 
mediaeval abbeys : a company of brethren make a venture of faith, choose 
out a place for habitation, and with their own hands cut down timber 
and erect a building, having to camp out and endure privations before 
they can have even a roof over their heads. 

6. And lie cut down a stick, and cast it in thither. The miracle, like so 
many in the Bible, is worked by some material means, of no virtue in 
themselves, but chosen by God for that purpose, and so typical of the 
Sacraments. This miracle would be a mark of Divine approval upon 
the work in which they were engaged, and also upon the honesty of the 
workman, whose first thought was that the axe did not belong to him. 

The Christian Fathers have seen here in Elisha a type of Christ, who 
by the wood of His Cross has raised again the hardened hearts of men 
out of the passions and worldliness in which they were submerged by the 


2 KINGS VI. ; VII. ; VIII. 1-6 


•1 comiiif 

did swim. 7. Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. 
And he put out his hand, and took it. 8. ^Then the king 
of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with 
his servants, saying. In such and such a place shall be 
my camp. 9. And the man of God sent unto the king 
of Israel, saying. Beware that thou pass not such a 
place; for thither the Syrians are * come down. 10. And 
the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God 
told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not 
once nor twice. 11. Therefore the heart of the king of 
Syria was sore troubled for this thing ; and he called his 
servants, and said unto them, "Will ye not shew me which 
of us is for the king of Israel ? 12. And one of his servants 
said, None, my lord, king : but Elisha, the prophet that 
is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou 
speakest in thy bedchamber. 13. And he said, Go and 
spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it 
was told him, saying. Behold, he is in ^Dothan. 14. There- 
fore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host : 
and they came by night, and compassed the city about. 
15. And when the servant of the man of God was risen 
early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city 
both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto 
him, Alas, my master ! how shall we do ? 16. And he 
f? 1 s. John iv. answered. Fear not: for *^ they that he with us are more 
than they that be with them. 17. And Elisha prayed, and 
said. Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. 
And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man ; and he 

8. Then the king of Syria warred against Israel. No hint of time is 
given, nor of tlie name of the Syrian king. Josephus calls him Adad, 

c Geii. XXXV 

probably the Bcn-hadad mentioned below. Syria was the constant enemy 
of Israel, always seeking for an opportunity of an inroad, like the Scots 
upon the Phiglish in tlie Middle Ages. 

13. Dothan. A fortified town, situated to the north of Samaria. 
' Commanding the passes and plains are a series of promontories and 
isolated knolls ; some of these were Samaria's northern fortresses. The 
Book of Judith mentions three, of which the farthest south was Geba, 
another Dothan, both still so called, and a third Bethulia' (G. A. Smith, 
Hist. Geofj.). 

17. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man. This incident is 


saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of '-horses and c chap. ii. ii. 
chariots of tire round about Elisha. 18. And when they 
came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said, 
Smite this j)eople, I pray thee, with blindness. And he 
smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. 

19. And Elisha said unto them. This is not the way, 
neither is this the city : follow me, and I will bring you to 
the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria. 

20. And it came to pass, when they were come into 
Samaria, that Elisha said. Lord, open the eyes of these 
7)ien, that they may see. And the Lord opened their eyes, 
and they saw ; and, behold, they were in the midst of 
Samaria. 21. And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, 

when he saw them, -^My father, shall I smite themi shall/ chap. xiii. 


I smite them 1 22. And he answered, Thou shalt not 
smite th&in : wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast 
taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow 1 set bread 

an extremely instructive one. It illustrates the truth of angelic guar- 
dianship which is so often taught by Scripture (cf . Pss. xxxiv. 7 ; xci. 
11, 12 ; and S. Matt. xxvi. 53). It also vividly suggests the truth that the 
spiritual world is so close to us, that we only need our eyes opened to see 
what is really there, as an objective reality (cf. Heb. xii. 22, 23). The 
'horses of fire' here, as in chap. ii. 11, are probably to be understood as 
cherubim, angelic beings who appear in several places of Scripture under 
the form of animals, a form assumed for symbolic purposes. Here, doubt- 
less, the form implies speed, strength, readiness for battle, eagerness 
to help man in his warfare. 

18. And wlien they came down to him. Apparently Elisha and his 
servant left the city, and shewed themselves to the 83'rian host, who 
then came down from the heights on which they had encamped to appre- 
hend the prophet. 

And he smote them with blindness. There are several parallels to this 
miracle in Scripture (Gen. xix. 11 ; Acts xiii. 11). We need not suppose 
that the Syrian soldiers were rendered physically blind, but that their 
vision was in some way obscured or deceived temporarily, no doubt by 
some interposition of the angelic host, which was so near. 

22. Thou Shalt not smite them. Though the law of Moses (Deut. xx. 
13) commanded the putting to death of the males when a besieged city 
had been taken, it is evident from the prophet's question that the whole- 
sale massacre of prisoners of war was contrary to the usual practice, 
unless a Divine command had been given to that eftect. Much more, 
then, ought those to be sjiared who had not been taken by human hand. 
The mercy shown on this occasion had a good effect, as is seen from 
ver. 23. 

200 2 KINGS VI. ; VII. ; VIII. 1-6 

and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and 
go to their master. 23. And he prepared great provision 
for them : and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent 
them away, and they went to their master. So the bands 
of Syria came no more into the land of Israel. 24. And it 
came to pass after this, that Ben-hadad king of Syria 
gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria. 
25. And there was a great famine in Samaria : and, behold, 
they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for fourscore 
jiieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung 
for five iiieces of silver. 26. And as the king of Israel was 
passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, 
saying, Help, my lord, king. 27. And he said. If the 
Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee ? out of 
the barnfloor, or out of the winepress ? 28. And the king 
said unto her. What aileth thee ? And she answered. This 
woman said unto me. Give thy son, that we may eat him 
to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. 29. So we 
boiled my son, and did eat him : and I said unto her on 
the next day. Give thy son, that we may eat him : and she 
hath hid her son. 30. And it came to pass, when the king 
heard the words of the Avoman, that he rent his clothes ; 

24. Ben-hadad king of Syria gathered all Ms host . . . and besieged 
Samaria. The miraculous discomfiture of the Syrians just recorded 
produced for some time, how long we are not told, a cessation of the 
irregular raids of the Syrians. But now, as in 1 Kings xx., the king of 
Syria makes a determined attempt to subjugate the northern kingdom 
by taking Samaria, its capital. 

25. An ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, etc. The ass 
was an unclean animal, and would only be eaten at all under great stress 
of necessity ; the head would not be an inviting part of it, and yet the 
price of it was nearly three times the ordinary price of a slave. 

The cab is a measure lauuientioned elsewhere, but it is said to have 
been the eighteenth part of an ' ephah,' and to have contained about three 

Dove's dung, in all probability, must be understood to refer to some 
cheap sort of grain. 

27. Out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress. Said ironically. 
There was nothing left either of food or luxuries. 

30. He rent his clothes. That the king should be appealed to for 
justice in such a horrible matter illustrates vividly the awful privations 


and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, 

and, behold, he had sackcloth within upon his flesh. 31. 

Then he said, God do so and more also to me, if the head 

of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand on him this day. 

32. But Elisha sat in his house, and the elders sat with 

him ; and the king sent a man from before him : but ere 

the messenger came to him, he said to the elders. See ye 

how this son of a murderer hath sent to take away mine 

head? look, when the messenger cometh, shut the door, 

and ^ hold him fast at the door : is not the sound of his ^ hold the door 

master's feet behind him ? 33. And while he yet talked hVm. 

with them, behold, the messenger came down unto him : 

and he said, Behold, this evil is of the Lord ; ^ what should « wiiy. 

I wait for the Lord any longer 1 

VII. 1. Then Elisha said, Hear ye the w^ord of the Lord ; 
Thus saith the Lord, To morrow about this time shall a 

to which the besieged had been reduced. It was a matter too dreadful 
to reply to, and the king could only express his horror by the symbolical 
action of rending his clothes. This disclosed the fact that he Avas himself 
conscious that the siege was a Divine judgment, and had assumed the 
outward mark of repentance with the idea of appeasing God's anger, 
although the words of ver. 31 show that his repentance was not true. 

31. God do so and more also to me. The king, instead of recognising 
Elisha as the servant of God, whose name he blasphemously invokes, 
seems to regard him only as a worker of miracles who, for some reason 
of his own, will not interfere to bring the siege to an eiid. In his childish 
rage against him, he purposes to put him to death at once. 

32. This son of a murderer, i.e. of Ahab. 

Is not the sound of his master's feet behind him. These words are 
obscure : perhaps they mean that the king has already relented of his 
threat, and is following the messenger himself, as seems implied in the 
next verse, and also in chap. vii. 17. 

33. What should I wait for the LORD any longer. These are apparently 
the king's words, the expression of despair. He is ready ' to curse God 
and die.' 

VII. 1. Thus saith the LORD. In solemn contrast with both the king's 
idea that Elisha himself might miraculously remove the siege, and the 
king's despair of God, Elisha announces, in the usual prophetic style 
('Thus saith,' etc.), an interposition which all must recognise as pro- 
ceeding directly from God's hand. The prophet had received super- 
natural knowledge of what was happening among the besiegers, like 
Isaiah in the case of Sennacherib. The plenty which he foretells A\ould 

202 2 KINGS VI. ; VIL ; VIII. 1-6 

measure of fine flour he sold for a shekel, and two measures 

7 the captain. Qf "barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria. 2. Then '' a 

lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of 
God, and said, Behold, if the Lord would make windows 
in heaven, might this thing be? And he said. Behold, 
thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof. 
g^ Lev. xiii. 46 ; 3. And there were four leprous men ^ at the entering in of 
the gate ; and they said one to another. Why sit we here 
until we die ? 4. If we say. We will enter into the city, 
then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there : and 
if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and 
let us fall unto the host of the Syrians : if they save us 
alive, we shall live ; and if they kill us, we shall but die. 
5. And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp 

8 outermost, of the Syrians : and when they were come to the ^ utter- 

most part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man 
there. 6. For the Lord bad made the host of the Syrians 
to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the 
noise of a great host : and they said one to another, Lo, 
the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the 

indeed seem impossible, for where was it to come from ? So the captain 
contemptuously asks whether it is going to rain food from heaven. 

4. Let us fall unto the host of the Syrians. ' To fall to,' or ' fall away 
to,' signifies to desert. So it was said to Jeremiah, ' Thou fallcst away 
to the Chaldeans (Jer. xxxvii. 13). 

6. For the LORD had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of 
chariots, etc. jNIysterious panics of this kind have fallen upon armies in 
all ages. They are inexplicable as a rule ; but here m^c are plainly told 
that the delusion which fell upon the Syrians was a Divine interposition. 
Stragglers from the retreating host, or camp-followers, may have brought 
the story to Samaria of what ' they said one to another.' 

The kings of the Hittites. This little known people, mentioned 
incidentally throughout the early part of the Old Testament, from 
Al)raham's time onward, were not only one of the dispossessed nations 
of Canaan, but were evidently still powerful enough to be a source of 
terror. Tlicir original territory is described in Josh. i. 4 as extending 
from Lebanon to the Euphrates. Their chief towns were Kadesh on the 
Orontes, and Carchemish on tlic Euplirates. They belonged to the same 
race as the Tartars, and were, like them, famous for cavalry. Pictures 
of Hittites have l)cen discovered on Egyptian and Oriental monuments ; 
they are of tlie Monghol type, and are represented as wearing pig-tails, 
like the Tartars and the Chinese. 


Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us. 

7. Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left 

their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp 

as it was, and fled for their life. 8. And when these lepers 

came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into 

one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, 

and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it ; and came 

again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence 

also, and went and hid it 9. Then they said one to 

another, We do not well : this day is a day of good tidings, 

and we hold our peace : if we tarry till the morning light, 

some '•' mischief will come upon us : now therefore come, ^ punishment 

will overtake 
that we may go and tell the king's household. 10. So they ns. 

came and called unto the porter of the city : and they 

told them, saying. We came to the camp of the Syrians, 

and, behold, there was no man there, neither voice of man, 

but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they ivere. 

11. And he called the porters; and they told it to the 

king's house within. 12. And the king arose in the night, 

and said unto his servants, I will now shew you what the 

Syrians have done to us. Tliey know that we he hungry ; 

therefore are they gone out of the camp to hide themselves 

in the field, saying. When they come out of the city, we 

shall catch them alive, and get into the city, 13. And 

one of his servants answered and said, Let some take, I 

pray thee, five of the horses that remain, which are left in 

the city, (behold, they are as all the multitude of Israel 

that are left in it : behold, I say, they are even as all the 

6. The kings of the Egyptians. This may be a popular and inexact 
expression ; properly speaking, there was only one king or Pharaoh 
of Egypt ; but as Egypt was divided into districts or nomes, the heads 
of these may popularly have been styled ' kings.' 

10. Horses tied, and asses tied. This is an additional touch in the 
description, which shows how sudden and demoralising the panic must 
have been. The Syrians had actually fled on foot without waiting to 
untether their horses or baggage-asses. 

13. Behold, they are as all the multitude of Israel that are left in it. 
These somewhat ol)SCurc words were evidently meant as an encourage- 
ment to send out and investigate the cami^ of the Syrians. Nothing 

204 2 KINGS VI. ; VII. ; VIII. 1-6 

multitude of the Israelites that are consumed :) and let us 
10 two chariots send and see. 14. They took therefore ^^ two chariot horses ; 
and the king sent after the host of the Syrians, saying, Go 
and see. 15. And they went after them unto Jordan : and, 
lo, all the way ivas full of garments and vessels, which the 
Syrians had cast away in their haste. And the messengers 
returned, and told the king. 16. And the people went out, 
and spoiled the tents of the Syrians. So a measure of fine 
flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for 
a shekel, according to the word of the Lord. 17. And the 
king appointed the lord on whose hand he leaned to have 
the charge of the gate : and the people trode upon him in 
the gate, and he died, as the man of God had said, who 
spake when the king came down to him. 18. And it came 
to pass as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, 
Two measures of barley for a shekel, and a measure of fine 
flour for a shekel, shall be to morrow about this time in the 
gate of Samaria : 19. And that lord answered the man of 
God, and said. Now, behold, if the Lord should make 
window^s in heaven, might such a thing be ? And he said. 
Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat 
thereof. 20. And so it fell out unto him : for the people 
trode upon him in the gate, and he died. 
i.a.fsToS'^'' ^^^^* ^- "Then spake Elisha unto the woman, '^ whose 
h chap. iv. son he had restored to life, saying. Arise, and go thou 
and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst 

worse could happen to the Israelites than had already happened. They 
were already 'consumed.' If the two chariots fell into the hands of 
Syrians, their drivers could but die, which would certainly be their fate 
if the siege continued longer. 

15. And they went after them unto Jordan. This would hardly have 
been the usual way to return to Syria, but tliey may have imagined 
that the Hittites were coming upon them from the north. Perliaps 
they hardly thought at all, but rushed helter-skelter downhill towards 
the ravine of the Jordan, and the many hiding-places of the country on 
the east of it. 

VIII. 1. Then spake Elislia, etc. See Revised Version. This event must 
have taken place some time before. The famine spoken of may be the 
same as that mentioned in chap. iv. 38. The incident is perhaps recorded 


sojourn : for the Lord hath called for a famine ; and it shall 
also come upon the land seven years. 2. And the woman 
arose, and did after the saying of the man of God : and she 
went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the 
Philistines seven years. 3. And it came to pass at the 
seven years' end, that the woman returned out of the land 
of the Philistines : and she went forth to cry unto the king 
for her house and for her land. 4. And the king talked 
with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying. Tell 
me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done. 
5. And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he 
had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, 
whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her 
house and for her land. And Gehazi said. My lord, 
king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha 
restored to life. 6. And when the king asked the woman, 
she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain 
officer, saying, Eestore all that was her's, and all the fruits 
of the field since the day that she left the land, even until 

here, because the king's desire to hear of the miracles of Elisha (ver. 4) 
may have been quickened by the wonderful deliverance from Syria which 
has just been described. 

The Shunammite had apparently lost her husband, and for that reason 
Elisha had recommended her to leave her possessions, M'hich seem now 
to have come into the hands of the king himself (ver. 6). 

4. Gehazi the servant of the man of God. It is not known whether 
this was before or after Naaman's visit. If the latter, it is in keeping 
with Gehazi's character that he should have brought himself into pro- 
minence before the king, and perhaps made capital out of his leprosy by 
telling the tale of Elisha's great works. 


2 KINGS VI. ; VII. ; VIII. 1-6 


Faith and Unbelief 



1. Faith is trust in God, in His 
power and wisdom, rather than in 
anything visible or human. Elisha 
is a great example of faith, in his 
miracles, his prayers, and his pre- 

(a) The miracle of making the 
iron axe-head to swim was doubt- 
less an answer to Elisha's faith. 
He believed that all material thingn 
are under the direct control of God ; 
that it is the will of God which is 
the cause of all so-called ' laws of 
nature,' and that a further exercise 
of God's will can modify or suspend 
these laws. 

(To a limited degree even human 
will can modify natural law, e.g. 
to catch a falling body and hold it 
up is to check the free exercise of 
the 'law of gravitation.') 

(6) P]lisha also had faith to be- 
lieve that God has power over 
ma7i, man's strength, man's strata- 
gems, man's armies. He prayed, 
and the vision, which was clear 
to hira, of the armies of angels 
defending him against the Syrians, 
became clear also to his servant. 
Again he prayed, and the wrath of 
men was miraculously checked by 
the blindness which God brought 
upon them. On the one hand, God 
opened the eyes of men to see 
supernatural truth ; on the other, 
He blinded them so that they could 
not even see natural objects. 

(c) Elisha had faith also to recog- 
nise God as the supreme ruler of all 
events. He was able to foretell the 
raising of the siege and the sudden 
plenty, because he had entire trust 
in God. 

(a) In speaking of the miracle of 
the iron swimming (or indeed of 
any miracle), it will be well to ask, 
' Why does iron ordinarily sink ? ' 
and lead the answers up to the 
necessary conclusion, ' It is because 
God so created and so willed it.' 

God can alter or suspend His own 
laws, if He wills to do so, just as 
much as He can make these laws in 
the first case. Sometimes God for 
His own purpose, and for the good 
of man, does so act, and we call it 
a miracle or a ' sign.' 

{h) and (c) The narrative of the 
Syrian discomfitures is so interest- 
ing and vivid that it should be 
made the principal part of the 

The contrast oi faith and unheliej 
will flow out of the narrative, and 
should be reserved for the conclu- 



Lesson XXII — continued. Faith and Unbelief 


Such faith combined with prayer, 
which is the voice and exercise of 
faith, is laid down by our Lokd 
as the condition of 'mighty works.' 
See S. Matt. xvii. 19-21 ; xxi. 2L 

2. Unbelief. 

In contrast with the faith of 
Elisha, and His disciples (see vi. 

3, 7), there are two examples of 
worldly unbelief : 

(a) The king, who does not in his 
heart trust God, nor believe Him 
to be the ruler of events. He is 
inclined to think that Elisha for 
his own ends is refusing to do a 
miracle ; and he profanely announ- 
ces his intention of not waiting for 
the Lord any longer. 

(6) The unnamed 'lord,' who, 
judging by ordinary human stan- 
dards of possibility, scoffs at the 
prophet's message, and learns when 
it is too late that ' the foolishness 
of God is wiser than men.' 


Blackboard Sketch. 


Elisha worked miracles, 

foretold the future, 
by Faith and Prayer. 

He trusted God, knowing that God has 
power over 

Nature — the iron axe-head, 

man — the armies of Syria, 

all events — the siege of Samaria. 


The king of Israel. 
The lord. 


2 KINGS VI. ; VII. ; VIII. 1-6 

Angel- Guardians 

1. The weakness of man. Point out the two examples of miraculous 
deliverance from hostile armies in 2 Kings vi. and vii. In each case 
deliverance seemed hopeless. The defenceless prophet was compassed 
round by horses and chariots. The beleaguered city was reduced to such 
straits that nothing but death by starvation or surrender seemed pos- 
sible. But in each case ' the battle was not to the strong ' : the armies 
which seemed almighty were more powerless than those whom they were 
attacking. One host was struck with blindness and rendered helpless : 
the other seized by irrational panic. 

2. The armies of God. Draw attention to the words of Elisha's prayer 
(vi. 17). The hosts of angels, mighty for battle, were really present all 
the time, though unseen. It needed only the gift of spiritual vision 
from God to see, not a mere vision, but an objective reality. Probably 
also the noise which the Lord made the host of the Syrians to hear 
(vii, 6) was the passing of angel armies. Cf. 2 Sam. v. 24 and S. Matt, 
xxvi. 53. 

3. Guardian angels. Though the angels are invisible to the natural eye, 
faith should learn to see them and believe in them. It seems from 
S. Matt, xviii. 10 that each individual has a guardian angel. There are 
also angels of nations (Dan. x. and xii.), and the Incarnation has 
brought the angels into closer and more permanent union with the 
Church. See S. John i. 51 ; Heb. i. 14 ; xii. 22. See also Rev. xix. 14. 

On this subject most suggestive help will be found in Latham's A Ser- 
vice of Angels and Newman's Parochial Sermons, ii. 29 and iv. 13. 

Blackboard Sketch. 

1. Man has no power except by God's per- 


2. The angels are the armies of God. 

They defended Elisha 1 . xi o • 

\ from the Syrians. 
Israel J 

3. Guardian angels defend 

every Christian, 
the Catholic Church, 


2 KINGS VIII. 7-15; 2 CHEON. XXL; XXII. 6; 

AND Elisha came to Damascus ; and Ben-hadad the 
_ king of Syria was sick ; and it was told him, 
saying, The man of God^ is come hither. 8. And 
the king said unto « Hazael, Take a present in thine hand, « i Kings xix. 
and go, meet the man of God, ^ and encjuire of the Lord h 2 Kings i. 2. 
by him, saying. Shall I recover of this disease ? 9. So 
Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, 
even of every good thing of Damascus, forty camels' 
burden, and came and stood before him, and said, Thy 
son Ben-hadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, saying, 
Shall I recover of this disease ? 10. And Elisha said unto 
him, Go, say unto him, ^ Thou may est certainly recover ; ^ Thou shalt 
howbeit the Lord hath shewed me that he shall surely 
die. 11. And he settled his countenance stedfastly^ until 

urely recover. 
add upon 

he was ashamed : and Hhe man of God wept. 12. And 4l' ^^^^^^'^• 

7. And Elisha came to Damascus. This event was evidently the 
fulfilment of the commission given to Elijah at Horeb to 'anoint Hazael 
king over Syria (1 Kings xix.). It is remarkable to notice that, as far as 
we know (1) Elijah acted only through his successor Elisha; (2) the 
' anointing ' was metaphorical only. 

8. Enquire of the LORD by him.. Ben-hadad, like most of the heathen 
of old time, believed that there were ' gods many and lords many.' Pro- 
bably he thought of Jehovah as the national god of Israel, Mho in some 
respects was stronger than his own god, Rimmon. He may have been 
led to this conclusion (1) by his own discomfiture before Samaria ; (2) by 
the healing of Naaman's leprosy. The ' present ' was no doubt offered 
with the idea that Elisha had such influence with Jehovah, that if 
sufficiently bribed, he could obtain from Him the cure of the king; 
a thoroughly heathen concejjtion of a ' man of God.' 

10. Thou mayest certainly recover. This is the reading of a marginal 
correction in the Hebrew text : the actual text reads, ' Thou shalt not 
recover,' which the Revised Version puts in the margin. Probably the 
meaning is either, ' The disease will not be fatal (though something else 
will),' or — ironically — 'Give him the answer which you are certain to 
give him, whatever I say ' (for a courtier %vould not be likely to bring 
back an unfavourable answer). 

11. And he settled his countenance stedfastly. This is a very 
dramatic description, and must have come originally from a witness of the 



2 KINGS VIII. 7-15 

Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, 
Because I know ''the evil that thou wilt do unto the 
children of Israel : their strong holds wilt thou set on 
fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, 
and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with 
child. 13. And Hazael said, ^ But what, is thy servant a 
dog, that he should do this great thing ? And Elisha 
answered, The Lord hath shewed me that thou shall be 
king over Syria. 14. So he departed from Elisha, and 
came to his master ; who said to him, What said Elisha 
to thee ? And he answered, He told me that thou shouldest 
surely recover. 15. And it came to pass on the morrow, 
that he took ^ a thick cloth, and dipped it in water, and 
spread it on his face, so that he died : and Hazael reigned 
in his stead. 

2 CHRON. XXI. 1. Now Jehoshaphat slept with his 
fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of 
David. And Jehoram his son reigned in his stead. 2. 
And he had brethren the sons of Jehoshaphat, Azariah, 
and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and 
Shephatiah : all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king 
of Israel. 3. And their father gave them great gifts of 

d chap. X. 32 ; 
xii, 17: xiii. 

'■> But ■what is 
thy servant, 
which is but a 
dog, that he 
shouhl do this 
great thing? 

4 tlie coverlet. 

interview. After giving the ironical answer, as above, the proijhet tixes 
his gaze upon Hazael, evidently reading him through and through, until 
Hazael is filled with confusion. Then the picture of the future, which 
the prophet has seen in the man before him, moves him to tears. The 
prophet cannot but see and speak as God has told him, but he weeps for 
his people and the Divine judgment which is coming upon them. 

13. But what, is thy servant a dog. The Revised Version entirely 
alters the meaning of Hazael's words. He does not express any horror 
at what is told him, but covers his confusion at finding his secret designs 
unmasked by putting on an appearance of humility in a truly Oriental 
manner, 'How can I, the meanest of men, ever bring about such calami- 
ties as these?' 

2 CuKON. XXI. The history here rctuins to the southern kingdom of 
Judali : the passage from 2 Chron. which folloAvs fills up the space be- 
tween the reign of Jehoshaphat and the destruction of the kings of both 
kingdoms by Jehu in 2 Kings ix. 

2. Azariah. The name occurs twice, and probably there is some mistake 
in the text. 


silver, and of gold, and of precious things, with fenced 

cities in Judali : but the kingdom gave he to Jehoram ; 

because he ivas the firstborn. 4. Now when Jehoram was 

risen up to the kingdom of his father, he strengthened 

himself, and slew all his brethren with the sword, and 

divers also of the princes of Israel. 5. Jehoram ivas thirty 

and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned 

eight years in Jerusalem. 6. And he walked in the way 

of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab : for 

he had the daughter of Ahab to wife : and he wrought 

that ivhich was evil in the eyes of the Lord. 7. Howbeit 

the Lord would not destroy the house of David, because 

of ^ the covenant that he had made with David, and as he e 2 Sam. vii. ; 

Ps. cxxxii. 11. 
promised to give a *" light to him and to his sons for ever. 5 j.^,, . 

8. In his days the Edomites revolted from under the 

dominion of Judah, and made themselves a king. 9. Then 

Jehoram ^ went forth with his princes, and all his chariots ^ passed over. 

with him : and he rose uj) by night, and smote the 

Edomites which compassed him in, and the captains of 

the chariots. 10. So -^the Edomites revolted from under f Gen. xxvii. 


the hand of Judah unto this day. The same time also 
did Libnah revolt from under his hand ; because he had 
forsaken the Lord God of his fathers. 11. Moreover he 
made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused 

4. And slew all his brethren with the sword. Horrible crimes of this 
sort were not infrequent with Oriental kings. They were partly due to 
the evils of polygamy, and also to the lack of a settled constitution. 
Nev^ertheless, we see the punishment which followed in Jehoram's case 
(verses 13, 18). 

9. Then Jehoram went forth with his princes. The account of this is 
a little clearer in 2 Kings viii. It seems that Jehoram invaded the 
Edomite country, but 'passed over,' i.e. separated himself from the main 
body of his army, and so was hemmed in by the Edomites, and had to 
cut his way out. Meanwhile the main body of his own army took flight 
and scattered. Instead of 'with his princes,' 2 Kings reads 'to Zair,' 
which may be a mistake for ' Seir,' the hill-country of Edom. 

10. The same time also did Libnah revolt. This is a very obscure event. 
Libnah was a fortified town in the lowlands, near the coast ; but whether 
its revolt was due to an Edomite population, or to some aspirant to the 
throne, we have no means of knowing. 

212 2 CHRON. XXI. 

7 go a whoring, the inhabitants of Jerusalem to ' commit fornication, and 

compelled Judah thereto. 12. And there came a writing 
to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus saith the 
Lord God of David thy father, Because thou hast not 
walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the 
ways of Asa king of Judah, 13. But hast walked in the 
way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the 
inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the 
whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also hast slain thy 
brethren of thy father's house, which were better than 
thyself: 14. Behold, with a great plague will the Lord 
smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all 
thy goods : 15. And thou shalt have great sickness by dis- 
ease of thy bowels, until thy boAvels fall out by reason of 

8 yoar after the sickness ^ day by day : 16. Moreover the Lord stirred 

up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the 

9 beside the Arabians, that were ^near the Ethiopians : 17. And thev 
Cushites. . -^ -. i -, n i • • 

came up nito Judah, and brake into it, and carried away 

all the substance that was found in the king's house, and 
his sons also, and his wives ; so that there was never a son 
left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons. 18. 
And after all this the Lord smote him in his bowels with 
an incurable disease. 19. And it came to pass, that in 
process of time, alter the end of two years, his bowels fell 

12. And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet. This is 
a very remarkable incident, for it is the only place in Avhich Elijah is 
mentioned in Chronicles, and the only occasion on which he is said to 
have v)ritten anything, or to have had any dealings witli the southern 
kingdom. The chronology is so uncertain that it cannot be laid down 
as certain whether Elijah at this time was living on earth or not. That 
he was still so living is maintained in Milligan's ' Elijah ' {Men of the 
Bible, pp. 178, 179), in which case there would be nothing incredible in 
his addressing a communication to Jehoram. 

If Elijah had left the world at this time, we can only suppose that he 
left some prophecy Ijehiiul him relating to Jehoram, which was now put 
into writing and sent to tlie king by another prophet. 

17. Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons. This name appears in the next 
chapter as Ahaziah. Tlie two names are exactly the same in derivation, 
but in one case the Divine name (Jab) is a prefix, in the other an affix. 
Cf. the two names Dorothea and Theodora, both of which mean 'gift of 


out by reason of his sickness : so he died of sore diseases. 

And his people made no burning for him, ^like the burning cj chap. xvi. 14. 

of his fathers. 20. Thirty and two years old was he when 

he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight 

years, and departed without being desired. Howbeit they 

buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchres 

of the kings. 

XXII. 1. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made 
Ahaziah his youngest son king in his stead : for the band of 
men that came with the Arabians to the camp had slain 
all the eldest, 8o Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of 
Judah reigned. 2. Forty and two years old was Ahaziah 
when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jeru- 
salem. His mother's name also was Athaliah the daughter 
of Omri. 3. He also walked in the ways of the house of 
Ahab : for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly. 
4. Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the Lord like the 
house of Ahab : for they were his counsellors after the 
death of his father to his destruction, 5. He walked also 
after their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of 
Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria 
at Ramoth-gilead : and the Syrians ^^ smote Joram. 6, ^" wounded. 
And he returned to be healed in Jezreel because of the 
wounds which were given him at Ramah, when he fought 
with Hazael king of Syria. And Azariah the son of 
Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the 
son of Ahab at Jezreel, because he was sick. 

2 KINGS IX, 1, And Elisha the prophet called one of 
the " children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up " sons, 
thy loins, and take this ^^box of oil in thine hand, and go ^- vial, 
to Ramoth-gilead : 2, And when thou comest thither, look 

19, And his people made no burning for him. See note on p. 98, 

20, And departed without being desired. As wc should say, ' without 
being regretted ' ; or the pluvase may apply to his life rather than his 
death, ' He went through his life without being beloved.' 

2 Kings ix, 1. Go to Ramoth-gilead. King Joram had left his army 
here, while he himself retired to Jezreel, his country residence, for the 

214 2 KINGS IX. 

out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, 

and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, 

and carry him to an inner chamber ; 3. Then take the 

box of oil, and jwur it on his head, and say, Thus saith 

h 1 Kings xix. the LoRD, ^ I have anointed thee kincj over Israel, Then 
16. ' » ? 

open the door, and flee, and tarry not. 4, So the young 

man, even the young man the prophet, went to Eamoth- 

gilead. 5. And when he came, behold, the captains of the 

host were sitting ; and he said, I have an errand to thee, 

captain. And Jehu said, Unto which of all us ? And 

he said, To thee, captain. 6. And he arose, and went 

into the house ; and he poured the oil on his head, and 

said unto him. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I have 

anointed thee king over the people of the Lord, even over 

Israel. 7. And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy 

master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the 

prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord, at 

the hand of Jezebel. 8. For the whole house of Ahab 

i 1 Kings xxi. i shall perish : and I will cut off from Ahab i3 -^ -h- ^ 


13 every man and him that is shut up 1^ and left in Israel : 9. And 

14 and him that I will make the house of Ahab like the house of 
j 1 Kings xiv. ' ^ Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of 
\ 1 Kin"-s xvi. ^ Baasha the son of Ahijah : 10. ^ And the dogs shall 
V{ Kin"-s xxi ^^^ Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall 
22- he none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled. 

healing of his wound. The departure of the king would probably have 
rendered the army discontented, and provided a favourable moment for 
Jehu's revolt. The prophet recognises in this the time for fulfilling the 
command given by Cod to Elijah. Jehu is to be anointed (no other of 
the kings of the northern kingdom is said to have been anointed) as a 
minister of vengeance on the house of Ahab. This j)unishment had been 
foretold by Elijah, but postponed for the sake of Ahab's repentance (1 
Kings xxi.). 

10. The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel. Almost a 
quotation from the long-remembered words of Elijah (1 Kings xxi. 23). 
It was the most disgraceful fate that could befall any one, for his carcass 
to be eaten by the unclean dogs that act as scavengers of Oriental cities. 
The word 'portion' is in 1 Kings xxi. 'rampart,' and probably means 
some piece of ground adjacent to the city walls, where rubbish was 
thrown, like the valley of Hinnom at Jerusalem. 

JEHU 215 

11. Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord : and 

one said unto him, Is all well ? wherefore came this mad 

fellow to thee 1 And he said unto them, Ye know the 

man, ^^and his communication. 12. And thev said, It is ^^' and whatiiis 

•^ talk was. 

false ; tell us now. And he said, Thus and thus spake he 

to me, saying, Thus saith the Lord, I have anointed thee 
king over Israel. 13. Then they hasted, and took every 
man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the 
stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king. 14. 
So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi con- 
spired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Eamoth- 
gilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria. 
15. But king Joram was returned to be healed in Jezreel 
of the wounds which the Syrians had given him, when he 
fought with Hazael king of Syria.) And Jehu said. If it 
be your minds, then let none go forth nor escape out of 
the city to go to tell it in Jezreel. 16. So Jehu rode in a 
chariot, and went to Jezreel ; for Joram lay there. And 
Ahaziah king of Judah was come down to see Joram. 17. 
And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and 
he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see 
a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and 
send to meet them, and let him say. Is it peace ? 18. So 
there went one on horseback to meet him, and said. Thus 
saith the king. Is it peace ? And Jehu said. What hast thou 
to do with peace ? turn thee behind me. And the watcli- 

11. Ye know the man and his communication. This does not mean 
that Jehu suspects his fellow-captains of being in league with the prophet, 
but that, as they have called him 'a mad fellow,' so naturally his com- 
munication must be the ravings of a madman. It is an attempt to laugh 
away the matter for the moment, probabh' that he might have time to 
mature his plans. 

13. Then they hasted, and took every man his garment. The words of 
a prophet were evidently held in respect, even though they had called 
him ' a mad fellow ' ; and his message no doubt fitted well with the 
circumstances and the general wishes. By a sudden inspiration they 
proceed at once to extemporise a throne, by piling their robes on the top 
of the staircase, which would probably be outside the building, leading 
up to the roof. By this prominent seat, and the blare of trumpets, 
Jehu is announced to the army as king. 

216 2 KINGS IX. 

man told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he 
Cometh not again. 19. Then he sent out a second on horse- 
back, which came to them, and said, Thus saith the king, 
Is it j)eace ? And Jehu answered. What hast thou to do 
with peace ? turn thee behind me. 20. And the watch- 
man told, saying. He came even unto them, and cometh 
not again : and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the 
son of Nimshi ; for he driveth furiously. 21. And Joram 
said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And 
Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, 
16 to meet each in his chariot, and they went out ^^ against Jehu, and 
met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22, And 
it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it 
peace, Jehu ? And he answered, What peace, so long as 
the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts 
are so many ? 23. And Joram turned his hands, and fled, 
and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, Ahaziah. 24. 
And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote 
Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his 
heart, and he sank down in his chariot, 25. Then said 
Jehu to Bidkar his captain. Take up, and cast him in the 
portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite : for remem- 
ber how that, when I and thou rode too-ether after Ahab 


19. «■ - ■ • j^^g father, '" the Lord laid this burden upon him ; 20, 

20. The driving- is like the driving of Jehu. This expression, which 
has become proveibial, seems to point to the character of Jehu, which is 
well exemplified in this present narrative. The whole plot was swift, 
conceived in a moment, and carried out with headstrong passion ; Jehu's 
violent personality sweeps all before him, the messengers of Joram 
meekly take their places behind him at his word. 

22. Whoredoms — in the usual prophetic sense of ' idolatries.' Idolatry 
was regarded as an act of unfaithfulness to God, analogous to unfaithful- 
ness between husband and wife. 

Witchcrafts, Heathen idolatries arc usually accompanied by spells, 
incantations, and other forbidden methods of communication with powers 
of evil or spirits of the dead. 

25. The LORD laid this burden upon him. ' Burden ' here is almost 
equivalent to 'curse'; it is one of the words used by the propliets to 
express a divine sentence of judgment laid upon an individual or nation. 
Cf. the different 'burdens' in Isaiah xiii.-xxiii. 


Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and 

the blood of his sons, saith the Lord ; and I will requite 

thee in this plat, saith the Lord. Now therefore take and 

cast him into the plat of ground, according to the word of 

the Lord, 27. But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw 

this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu 

followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. 

And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by 

Ibleani. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there. 28. 

And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, 

and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the 

city of David. 29. And in the eleventh year of Joram the 

son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah. 30. And 

when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it ; and 

she painted her i" face, and tired her head, and looked out ^'^ eyes (Ezek. 

^ . ' , ' xxiii. 40). 

at a window. 31. And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she 

27. He fled by the way of the garden house. This may have been 
simply some house among the royal gardens at Jezreel, or it may be a 
proper name, Beth-gan, some place on the way to Samaria. 

Smite him also in the chariot. This was not arbitrary bloodshed, but 
a carrying out of the judgment on the family of Ahab, as Ahaziah's 
mother was Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. 

And he fled to Megiddo, and died there. The account in 2 Chron. xxii. 
does not quite tally with this ; it is stated there that Ahaziah hid in 
Samaria, and thence was brought to Jehu and slain. Perhaps the LXX 
gives some key to the discrepancy, for it inserts a statement that Ahaziah 
went to Samaria to be cured of his wound. He may have been wounded 
in his flight, and then hunted from one hiding place to another, and finally 
killed by Jehu, or by his orders, at Megiddo, a place on the south of the 
plain of Esdraelon. 

30. She painted her face, and tired her head. The painting of the eyes 
was, and is still, a regular method of feminine adornment in the East ; 
antimony was generally used for the purpose. Some of the paint was 
actually inserted in the eye, and black lines were drawn round the e}^, 
giving it both an enlarged and elongated appearance. Both the paint- 
pots and the tool used for the purpose have been discovered in ancient 
tombs. It M'as not common, however, in Israel, and was not considered 
a reputable thing to do. But it was a regular practice with the Arabs, 
Egyptians, and Chaldeans. One of Job's daughters derived her name 
apparently from this. Keren-happuch= ' horn for paint.' Jezebel 
adorned herself in this way, and 'tired her head,' probably with a 
diadem, as a final piece of bravado. She intended to die a queen. 

218 2 KINGS IX. 

18 Is it peace, said, ^^ Had Zimri peace, who slew his master? 32. And 
thoi; master's he lifted up his foce to the window, and said, Who is on 
my side ? who ? And there looked out to him two or three 
eunuchs. 33. And he said. Throw her down. So they 
threw her down : and some of her blood was sprinkled on 
the wall, and on the horses : and he trod her under foot. 
34. And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and 
said. Go, see now this cursed ivoman, and bury her : for 
1 Kings xvi. " she is a king's daughter. 35. And they went to bury 
her : but they found no more of her than the skull, and 
the feet, and the palms of her hands. 36. Wherefore they 
came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word 
of the Lord, which he spake by his servant Elijah the 
Tishbite, saying. In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat 
the flesh of Jezebel : 37. And the carcase of Jezebel shall 
be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of 
Jezreel ; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel. 


31. Had Zimri peace? See the Revised Version and the reference in 
1 Kings xvi. Zimri only enjoyed his usurped kingdom for seven days, 
and burned himself to death in his palace when besieged by Omri. 

37. So that they shall not say, This is Jezebel. No monument or 
memorial was to be erected to preserve the memory of her greatness, or 
even of her crimes. She would probably have wished to be remembered 
for her wickedness ; but even that perverted renown is denied her. Her 
end was ' shame and everlasting contempt.' 

Elisha, Hazael, and Jehu 

Matter. Method. 

1. The fulfilment of God's command 1. Refer to Lesson xiv. 
to Elijah. Show why the appointment of 

Probably some twenty years be- Hazael and Jehu had been delayed. 


fore, Elnah had been commissioned rt i^ • i.- -x 

, At! i • ^5^1 Gods lustice ever waits 
by God to ' anoint three avengers *" 

(1 Kings xix.). The first, Elisha, "^ercy. 

had been called at once ; but the It is a question which the teacher 

'anointing' of the other two had should consider carefully, how far 

been postponed by God because of ^he details of these chapters of ven- 

AJj'^b's repentance (1 Kings xxi. ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^ ^^.^^ ^^^^^.^ ^j^.^. 

29). Now the full time has come, ^ 

for Ahab's S(m Ahaziah ' walked in dren. 

the ways of the house of Ahab.' 



Lesson XXIV —continued. 

Elisha does not 'anoint,' but 
simply marks out prophetically 
Hazael as a destined minister of 
vengeance. The prophet is com- 
pelled to see what he would fain 
not have seen, to utter predictions 
which caused him intense sorrow. 
The tears of Elisha over the coming 
sufferings of his people at the hand 
of Hazael are a type of the tears 
which our Lord shed over Jeru- 
salem, when He foretold its terrible 
destruction by the Romans. 

Elisha does, by his deputy, 'an- 
oint ' Jehu (the only king of the 
northern kingdom who is said to 
have been anointed). Beyond this 
the prophet seems to have taken no 
part in Jehu's rebellion, or his ven- 
geance on the house of Ahab. 

2. Divine vengeance. 

The sacred history gives us the 
inner meaning of the political his- 
tory. To the ordinary observer, 
Hazael's inroads were merely the 
savage and lawless acts of a tyrant 
who had come to the throne by 
treachery and murder, and who, 
perhaps for the sake of keeping his 
throne, engaged in the plundering 
and harrying of weaker neighbours. 
Jehu again would appear to be a 
successful usurper, who chose a 
favourable moment for an attack on 
a weak and unpopular sovereign, 
and carried out his attempt in a 
swift and merciless manner. 

And yet both these, the former 
unconsciousl}', the latter with very 
imperfect motive, were the instru- 
ments of a Power higher than 
themselves. They were executing 
God's wrath upon a kingdom and 
a line of rulers who had failed, 
morally and religiously, of the 
standard to which conscience and 
prophecj'' bore witness. 

To this extent the Holy Spirit 
bids us see the hand of (lod in the 
acts of Hazael and Jehu. But we 
are not called upon to approve the 

Elisha, Hazael, and Jehu 

The call of Jehu, and his fierce 
driving to the palace, will naturally 
be described, but his murderous 
acts here and in the next lesson 
should be touched upon lightly, 
and chief prominence be given to 
the truth that God, when His 
mercy is disregarded, does punish 
the wicked even in this world. 

2. This truth is difficult for 
children. Indeed it is often a diffi- 
culty to the uninstructed that such 
actions as those of Hazael and Jehu 
are described as being done by 
God's will. 

Such a difficulty can only be 
answered by insisting upon two 
parallel and inseparable truths. 

(1) The essential righteousness of 
God. He can never be the author 
of evil, or approve evil. 

(2) The sovereignty of God Who, 
while allowing man to exercise free- 
will, makes every human action 
serve His own righteous purpose. 
Otherwise God would not be Al- 
might}-, and evil would triumph 
over Him. 

So children might be told that 
God allows one evil man to punish 
another ; yet delights only in good, 
and in the actions of the good. 

In this particular instance refer- 
ence might be made to Hosea i. 4, 
where God promises to avenge the 



Lesson XXIV — continued. 

acts themselves. They were cruel, 
and often evil ; but God makes 
all things, even the acts of the 
wicked, to co-operate in fulfilling 
His own purposes, which can never 

Even those who crucified our 
Lord were working out a Divine 
purpose, which would doubtless 
have been accomplished in some 
other way, had sin not entered the 

8. The end of Jezebel. 

A visible proof of the judgment 
of God upon one who had abused a 
high position and natural force of 
character. It is a terrible picture 
of obstinate persistence in wicked- 
ness and of the ultimate powerless- 
ness of evil before the power and 
righteousness of God. She who 
had wielded the power of life and 
death, and had trampled on all the 
laws of God and man, is at the mercy 
of a few palace servants, and is 
trampled beneath the conqueror's 
horses : she who had aimed at least 
to die as a queen is left without 
any memorial, devoured by dogs. 

Elisha, Hazael, and Jehu 

blood of Jezreel upon the house of 

3, Refer to Jezebel's cruelty to 
Nabothandtheprophetsof the Lord, 
and to her absolute impenitence. 

Blackboard Sketch. 

Elisha, a Holy Prophet. 

Hazael, a Heathen Usurper. 

Jehu, a Fierce Soldier. 

All were made by God to execute His purpose - 

Elisha by declaring God's word ; 

Hazael by punishing Israel ; 

Jehu by killing Ahaziah, Jehoram, Jezebel, 
because they refused to hear God's word 
and to repent. 

JEHU 221 


AND Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu 
. wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers 
of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought 
up Ahab's children, saying, 2. Now as soon as this letter 
Cometh to you, seeing your master's sons are with you, and 
there are with you chariots and horses, a fenced city also, 
and armour ; 3. Look even out the best and meetest of 
your master's sons, and set him on his father's throne, and 
fight for your master's house. 4. But they were exceed- 
ingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before 
him : how then shall we stand ? 5. And he that ivas over 
the house, and he that was over the city, the elders also, and 
the bringers up of the children, sent to Jehu, saying, We 
are thy servants, and will do all that thou shalt bid us ; 
we will not make any king : do thou that which is good in 
thine eyes. 6. Then he wrote a letter the second time to 
them, saying. If ye he mine, and if ye will hearken unto 
my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master's sons, 
and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time. Now 
the king's sons, being seventy persons, were with the great 
men of the city, which brought them up. 7. And it came 
to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the 

1. The rulers of Jezreel. It is difficult to understand what the chief 
men of Jezreel had to do with Samaria ; and it has been suggested that 
the word is a copyist's mistake for 'Israel.' 

6. Ttien he wrote a letter the second time. Jehu's action is exceedingly 
crafty. The success of his usurpation was by no means sure, especially 
as there were so many possible candidates to the throne, and the capital, 
Samaria, a fortified city, was not j'et in his hands. Instead of attacking 
Samaria directh", he succeeds in frightening the chief men into surrender- 
ing their trust and removing the rivals out of the way, and so involving 
themselves in his rebellion that retreat would be impossible. They 
were not prepared to take so decided a step as choosing one of Ahab's 
sons as king, and in revolutions particularly 'those who hesitate are 
lost.' They had no alternative but to say, 'We are thy servants' 
(ver. 5). 

222 2 KINGS X. 

king's sons, and slew seventy ijersons, and put their heads 
in baskets, and sent him them to Jezreel. 8. And there 
came a messenger, and told him, saying, They have brought 
the heads of the king's sons. And he said, Lay ye them 
in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morn- 
ing. 9. And it came to pass in the morning, that he went 
out, and stood, and said to all the peojile, Ye he righteous : 
behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him : but 
who slew all these ? 10. Know now that there shall fall 
unto the earth nothing of the word of the Lord, which the 
Lord spake concerning the house of Ahab : for the Lord 
hath done that which he spake by his servant Elijah. 11. 
So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in 

1 familiar Jezreel, and all his great men, and his ^ kinsfolks, and his 

friends. . -^ ■, -, n i • • • .ii 

priests, untd he left him none remaining. 12. And he 
arose and departed, and came to Samaria. Aiid as he was 
at the shearing house in the way, 13. Jehu met with the 
brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who are ye ? 
And they answered, We are the brethren of Ahaziah ; and 
we go down to salute the children of the king and the 

9. Ye be righteous, etc. Jehu thus makes his appeal ad populum. He 
evidently wishes to show (1) that his action had been backed up, and 
indeed exceeded, by the action of the chief men of the capital ; (2) that 
the destruction of the entire family of Ahab was a matter of God's decree, 
which miist happen. He begins, therefore, by complimenting the people 
— they are 'righteous,' they have the poM-er of giving a right judgment 
in the matter ; they can judge whether his usurpation is not both in 
accordance with the general feeling and with God's justice. 

11. So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel. 

This verse seems to include not only a general slaughter of the adherents 
of Ahab in Jezreel, but all the subsequent massacres of priests, etc. , as 
recorded in the rest of the chapter. 

12. The shearing- house. Some building by the highway, where the 
flocks were accustoincd to be gathered before they were shorn. It would 
probably form a suitable halting place for a company of travellers, having 
a reservoir of water, the 'pit' of ver. 14. 

13. We go down to salute the children of the king and the children 
of the queen. The 'queen' is evidently 'Jezebel,' the queen-motlier. 
Jehu must have acted with great swiftness. This m^is apparently only 
tlie day after the murder of Joram and Jezebel, and the ' brethren of 


children of the queen. 14. And he said, Take them alive. 
And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the 
shearing house, even two and forty men ; neither left he 
any of them. 15. And wlien he was departed thence, he 
lighted on Jehonadab the son of Recliab coming to meet 
him : and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart 
right, as my heart is with thy heart ? And Jehonadab 
answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he 
gave him his hand ; and he took him up to him into the 
chariot. 16. And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal 
for the Lord. So they made him ride in his chariot. 17. 
And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained 
unto Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed him, according 
to the saying of the Lord, which he spake to Elijah. 18. 
And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto 

Aliaziah ' had heard nothing of what had happened. As these ' brethren ' 
were in a sense related to the house of Ahab, through Athaliah, Jehu 
apparently considered that his mission of vengeance must include them 

15. Jehonadab the son of Rechab. The founder of the family mentioned 
in the remarkable passage, Jeremiah xxxv., the Rechabites who neither 
had 'vineyard, nor field, nor seed,' and who drank no wine. Jehonadab 
belonged to the Kenites (1 Chron. ii. 55), the pastoral people of Sinai, 
from whom Moses had taken his wife, and who lived in Palestine in 
friendship with the Israelites (see Judges i. 16 ; 1 Sam. xv. 6). Appar- 
ently the intention of Jehonadab in laying such a singular charge upon 
his descendants was to preserve their pastoral and nomadic character, 
and to prevent them being absorbed into the settled city-life of the 
Israelites. They are not commended by Jeremiah for their actiial 
observances, but for their faithfulness to the commands of their ancestor. 

Jehonadab was evidently a person of great influence and a worshipper 
of Jehovah, and as such Jehu was anxious to have him openly on his 
side. There is a striking description of this meeting between ' the 
warrior and the ascetic' in Stanley's History of the Jewish Church. 

Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart ? Are you loyal 
to Jehovah and to me the messenger of His vengeance, even as I am 
well disposed towards you ? 

If it be, give me thine hand. The words of Jehu in answer to 
Jehonadab's, 'It is.' 

17. All that remained unto Ahab. The sons of Ahab were ah-eady 
slain, so this must mean those who were in any way connected with 
Ahab's family, or likely to oppose Jehu. 

224 2 KINGS X. 

them, Ahab served Baal a little ; but Jehu shall serve him 
much. 19. Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of 

2 worshippers. Baal, all his 2 servants, and all his priests ; let none be 

wanting : for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal ; who- 
soever shall be wanting, he shall not live. But Jehu did 
it in subtilty, to the intent that he might destroy the 

3 Sanctify. worshippers of Baal. 20. And Jehu said, ^ Proclaim a 

solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it. 21. 
And Jehu sent through all Israel : and all the worshippers 
of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came 
not. And they came into the house of Baal ; and the 
house of Baal was full from one end to another. 22. And 
he said unto him that loas over the vestry. Bring forth 
vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. And he brought 
them forth vestments. 23. And Jehu went, and Jehonadab 
the son of Eechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto 
the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be 
here with you none of the servants of the Lord, but the 

18. Jeliu shall serve Mm much. Apparently Jehu had hitherto repre- 
sented his usurpation as a protest against the cruelty of Ahab, especiallj' 
to Naboth, rather than against the Baal-worship, It was not known 
publicly what line he would take with regard to religion. Hence the 
Baal-worshippers were eager to take advantage of his apparent desire to 
honour Baal. Cf. the nonconformist emissaries to Charles ii. at the 

20. Proclaim a solemn assembly. The words used were those appro- 
priate to a solemn gathering of all Israel for religious purposes, like, for 
example, the gathering for the dedication of Solomon's Temple. Jehu's 
action looked like a grand installation of Baal as the new national God 
of Israel. 

21. The house of Baal. Evidently an opposition temple had been 
erected by Jezebel, which must have rivalled the Temple of Jehovah in 
size, and probably in splendour. 

22. Vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. It is not known what 
sort of vestments these were, but probabl}^ they were of Tyrian work- 
manship. That they were given to all the worshippers, however, shoM's 
that there was nothing peculiarly sacerdotal about them. They were 
doubtless intended to add to the festivity of the occasion. Oriental 
sovereigns collected great stores of 'changes of raiment,' and there was 
in this case an officer specially in charge of the royal wardrobe. And it 
is evident from the parable of the marriage feast (S. Matt, xxii.) that 
kings on great occasions distribute festal garments. 


worshippers of Baal only. 24. And when they went in to 
offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, Jehu appointed four- 
score men without, and said, If any of the men whom I 
liave brought into your hands escape, he that letteth him go, 
his life shall be for the life of him. 25. And it came to 
pass, as soon as he had made an end of oflfering the burnt 
oflFering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains. 
Go in, and slay them ; let none come forth. And they 
smote them with the edge of the sword ; and the guard 
and the captains cast them out, and went to the city of the 
house of Baal. 26. And they brought forth the * images 4 pinars. 
out of the house of Baal, and burned them. 27. And they 
brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house 
of Baal, and made it a draught house imto this day. 28. 
Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel. 29. Howbeit 
from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made 
Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to vrit, 
the golden calves that were in Beth-el, and that ivere in 
Dan. 30. And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou 
hast done well in executing that which is right in mine 
eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to 
all that ivas in mine heart, thy ° children of the fourth 5 sons. 
generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. 31. But Jehu 
took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel 
with all his heart : for he departed not from the sins of 
Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin. 32. In those days 

25. The city of the house of Baal. As the whole incident here evi- 
dently takes place iu Samaria, the 'city 'spoken of can only mean the 
enclosure, with its different courts and buildings, within which stood the 
actual ' house of Baal. ' 

27. A draught house. A place for the reception of filth and refuse, 
31. But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel 
with all his heart. Jehu's 'zeal for the Lord' went only as far as his 
own tastes, or political exi)ediency, allowed. The calf- worship was now 
rooted in the affectious of the people as a whole. It was the symbol of 
their independence of Jerusalem. Probably Baal worship was disliked 
by many of them simply as being a foreign introduction, not in the least 
because it was contrary to God's law. Hence while that was destroyed, 
the national and established idolatry was left alone. 

See a sermon by Liddon on ' The Zeal of Jehu ' in Sermons on the Old 

226 2 KINGS X. 

the Lord began to cut Israel short : and Hazael smote 
them in all the coasts of Israel ; 33. From Jordan east- 
ward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Keu- 
benites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the 
river Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan. 34. Now the rest of 
the acts of Jehu, and all that he did, and all his might, are 
they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings 
of Israel ? 35. And Jehu slept with his fathers : and they 
buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in 
his stead. 36. And the time that Jehu reigned over Israel 
in Samaria was twenty and eight years. 

Testament. The striking lines by Newman in the Lyra Ajjostolica on 
' The Zeal of Jehu ' should be noticed — 

' Thou to wax fierce 

In the cause of the Lord, 
To threat and to pierce 

With the heavenly sword ; 
Anger and Zeal 

And the joy of the brave 
Who bade thee feel, 

Sin's slave. 

The Altar's pure flame 

Consumes as it soars ; 
Faith meetly may blame, 

For it serves and adores. 
Thou warrest and smitest ! 

Yet Christ must atone 
For a soul that thou slightest— 

Thine own.' 

32. Hazael smote them- in all the coasts of Israel — i.e. on all the 
* borders ' of their territory. Hazael, from the description that follows, 
seems to have overrun all the country east of Jordan. 

34. Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, etc. The events of the twenty- 
eight years of Jehu's reign are almost unrecorded in Scripture. With 
him, as with Ahab (1 Kings xxii. 39), the 'might' and greatness which 
would find place in a secular chronicle were omitted in the sacred narra- 
tive. Only those events which show Divine purpose and Divine retribu- 
tion are recorded. 




1. Jehu professed great ' zeal for the Lord,' but his zeal seems only 
half-hearted. He did not really love God or His service. He was ready 
to destroy Baal-worship, but he did not find it expedient from a worldly 
point of view to attempt any further reformation of religion, He con- 
tinued in that course of idolatry and alienation from the true worship of 
Jehovah which was in the end to prove the ruin of the northern kingdom, 

2. God's approval is expressed for Jehu's punishment of the house of 
Ahab ; but nothing is said about the massacre of the Baal-worshippers. 
It certainly seems that the extirpation of Baal was conducted with 
unnecessary treachery and bloodshed. Indeed the whole of Jehu's con- 
duct seems actuated by a headstrong and self-seeking spirit. Just as he 
failed in whole-hearted love of God, there is little trace of any devotion 
to the good of his people. Failure in the love of God was combined with 
lack of the love of man. Refer to the two ' great Commandments.' 

3. The silence of Scripture concerning the reign of Jehu is significant, 
and should be explained by the teacher. In God's book of remembrance, 
human actions are estimated by a different standard than that of con- 
temporary opinion. Little actions done in a very short time may be of 
more value for good or evil in God's sight than the events of many years. 
This is the secret of the ' selected ' history of the Bible. 

Blackboard Sketch. 


Jehu destroyed Baal-w^orship, but not 


golden calves. 

He did not love God with all his heart, 


so w^as himself guilty of 



A great and successful king in the eyes of 

men, but not in the sight of God. 

228 2 CHEON. XXII. 10-12 : XXIII. ; XXIV. 

2 CHRON. XXII. 10-12; XXIIL ; XXIV. 


UT when Athaliali the mother of Ahaziah saw that 
her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the 
seed royal of the house of Judah. 11. But Jehosha- 
beath, 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 a bedchamber. 
So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife 
of Jehoiada the priest, (for she was the sister of Ahaziah,) 
hid him from Athaliah, so that she slew him not. 1 2. And 
he was with them hid in the house of God six years : and 
Athaliah reigned over the land. 

XXIII. 1. And in the seventh year Jehoiada strength- 
ened himself, and took the cajDtains of hundreds, Azariah 
the son of Jejoham, and Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, 
and Azariah the son of Obed, and Maaseiah the son of 
Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri, into covenant 
with him. 2. And they went about in Judah, and gathered 
the Levites out of all the cities of Judah, and the chief of 
the fathers of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. 3. And 
all the congregation made a covenant with the king in the 
house of God. And he said unto them, Behold, the king's 

a 2 Sam. vii. SOU shall reign, " as the Lord hath said of the sons of David. 

25. ^^°"" '^' 4. This is the thing that ye shall do ; ^A third part of you 

10. All the seed royal of the house of Judah. None of Ahaziah's 
children could have Taeen more than infants ; he was only twenty- 
three when lie died at the hands of Jehu. Athaliah was the daughter of 
Ahab and Jezebel. No doubt as queen-mother she was next in power to 
her son, and would easily usurp the kingdom on his death. 

11. Jehoshabeath. Called in Kings 'Jehosheba'; two forms of the 
same name, which is compounded of the sacred name and the M'ord * oath ' 
(as in Beer-sheba, ' well of the oath '). She was the daughter of Jehoram 
or Joram, and therefore the aunt of Joash. 

XXIII. 2. And gathered the Levites. Chronicles here adds to the account 
in Kings the fact that it was the Levites who carried out the insurrec- 
tion. The Chronicler is careful always to narrate any details which bear 
on the Temple or its ministers. 


entering on the sabbath, of the priests and of the Levites, 
shall be porters of the doors ; 5. And a third part shall be 
at the king's house ; and a third part at the gate of the 
foundation : and all the people shall be in the courts of the 
house of the Lord. 6. But let none come into the house 
of the Lord, save the priests, and they that minister of the 
Levites ; they shall go in, for they are holy : but all the 
l^eople shall keep the watch of the Lord. 7. And the 
Levites shall compass the king round about, every man 
with his weapons in his hand ; and whosoever else cometh 
into the house, he shall be put to death : but be ye with 
the king when he cometh in, and when he goeth out. 
8. So the Levites and all Judah did according to all things 
that Jehoiada the priest had commanded, and took every 
man his men that were to come in on the sabbath, with 
them that were to go out on the sabbath : for Jehoiada the 
priest dismissed not ^ the courses. 9. Moreover Jehoiada c i Chrou. 

^ XXV. 

the priest delivered to the captains of hundreds spears, and 
bucklers, and shields, that had been king David's, which 
ivere in the house of God. 10. And he set all the people. 


5. A third part shall be at the king's house — i.e. at the gates leading 
from Athaliah's palace to the Temple. 

A third part at the gate of the foundation. Called in Kings ' the gate 
of Sur,' an unknown gate, unless it is the same as the 'horse-gate' of 
ver. 15, which the alteration of a single letter would make it. 

G. But all the people shall keep the watch of the LORD — i.e. shall 
observe a religious watch in the courtyard of the Temple, as they would 
at the time of a sacred function. Cf. S. Luke i, 21. 

8. For Jehoiada the priest dismissed not the courses. The priests and 
Levites were divided into courses. One course came on duty on the 
Sabbath as another went off, but Jehoiada arranged that the latter 
should remain so as to have a guard of double strength round the king. 

9. Spears, and bucklers, and shields, that had been king David's. 
These were probably trophies and spoils of war which David liad 
dedicated in the Temple. It has l)een well pointed out that tlie Levites 
would not naturally be bearing arms, and therefore would need to be 
armed in this way: this is an 'undesigned coincidence,' showing the 
accuracy of the Chronicler's account. It is important, liecause the account 
in Kings does not mention the fact that these guards were Levites, 
although the arming of them is described (2 Kings xi. 10). 

230 2 CHRON. XXIL 10-12 ; XXIII. ; XXIV. 

every man having his weapon in his hand, from the right 
side of the temple to the left side of the temple, along by 
the altar and the temple, by the king round about. 11. 
Then they brought out the king's son, and put upon him 
rf Deut. xvii. the crown, and '^gave him the testimony, and made him 
king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and said, 
God save the king. 12. Now when Athaliah heard the 
noise of the people running and praising the king, she came 
to the people into the house of the Lord : 13. And she 
looked, and, behold, the king stood at his pillar at the 
entering in, and the princes and the trumpets by the king : 
and all the people of the land rejoiced, and sounded with 

1 the singers trumpets, ^ also the singers with instruments of musick, and 

also played on ° ' 

instruments of such as taught to sing praise. Then Athaliah rent her 

music and led 

the singing of clothes, and said. Treason, Treason. 14. Then Jehoiada 


the priest brought out the captains of hundreds that were 

2 between the set over the host, and said unto them, Have her forth ^ of 


the ranges : and whoso followeth her, let him be slain 
with the sword. For the priest said. Slay her not in the 

10. Along by the altar and the temple. The place of coronation was 
evidently in front of the Temple porch, between it and the brazen altar ; 
the armed guards standing on each side, and protecting the whole 

1 1 . And put upon him the crown, and gave him the testimony. Various 
explanations have been given of ' the testimony,' chiefly with the purpose 
of avoiding the plain conclusion that it was a written copy of the Law of 
Moses, in accordance with Deut. xvii. 18. Among such explanations are 
that it means ' bracelets,' or a written 'charter' of rights conceded by 
the king to his subjects. There seems no reasonable doubt that the Law, 
or some part of it, is meant. ' Testimony ' is the word applied to the Tables 
of the Law wliich were placed in the Ark by God's command (Exod. 
XXV. 16). Cf. also I's. cxix. passim. 

13. The king stood at his pillar. Kings adds 'as the custom was.' 
One of the great pillais, Jachin and Boaz, or some pillar erected for 
the occasion of a coronation. Some think that a platform is meant. 

14. Have her forth of the ranges. The corrections of the Revised 
Versioii make tliis passage clear. Athaliali was to be allowed to go un- 
molested between the lines of armed Levites, and not to be killed within 
the sacred enclosure. Instead of fleeing to ' the horns of the altar,' as 
she might possibly have done for sanctuary, she endeavoured to return 
to the palace by another gate ; but, as soon as she arrived there, she 
was slain. 

JOASH 231 

house of the Lord. 15. So they ^ laid hands on her : and ^ made way for 
when she was come to the entering of ^the horse gate by e Neh. iii. 28. 
the king's house, they slew her there. 16. And Jehoiada 
made a covenant between him, and between all the people, 
and between the king, that they should be the Lord's 
people. 17. Then all the people w-ent 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 altars. 
18. Also Jehoiada appointed the offices of the house of the 
Lord by the hand of the priests the Levites, /whom/i.c^ron. xxiii. 
David had distributed in the house of the Lord, to offer 
the burnt oifferings of the Lord, as it is written in the law 
of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, as it was 
ordained by David. 19. And he set -^ the porters at the gr l Chron. xxvi . 
gates of the house of the Lord, that none which was un- 
clean in any thing should enter in. 20. 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. 21. And all the 
people of the land rejoiced : and the city was quiet, after 
that they had slain Athaliah with the sword. 

XXIV. 1. Joash was seven years old when he began to 
reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His 
mother's name also was Zil)iah of Beer-sheba. 2. And 
Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord 
all the days of Jehoiada the priest. 3. And Jehoiada took 
for him two wives ; and he begat sons and daughters. 4. 
And it came to j)ass after this, that Joash was minded to 
repair the house of the Lord. 5. And he gathered together 

17. The liouse of Baal. At Jerusalem, as well as at Samaria, a temple 
of Baal had been erected, doubtless under Tyrian influences, which 
came into Judah through Athaliah, as they had come into Israel through 
her mother Jezebel. 

20. The nobles. In Kings for this is substituted 'the Carites' (R.V.) ; 
i.e. the Cherethites, the royal bodyguard. 

232 2 CHRON. XXII. 10-12 ; XXIII. ; XXIV. 

the priests and the Levites, and said to them, Go out unto 
the cities of Judah, and gather of all Israel money to repair 
the house of your God from year to year, and see that ye 
hasten the matter. Howbeit the Levites hastened it not, 
6. And the king called for Jehoiada the chief, and said 
unto him, Why hast thou not required of the Levites to 
4 the tax of bring in out of Judah and out of Jerusalem ^ the ^ collection 

h Exod. XXX. according to the commandment of Moses, the servant of the 
xvii. 24. ' " Lord, and of the congregation of Israel, for ^the tabernacle of 
the testimony, witness ? 7. For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, 
had broken up the house of God ; and also all the dedicated 
things of the house of the Lord did they bestow upon Baalim. 
8. And at the king's commandment they made a chest, and 
set it without at the gate of the house of the Lord. 9. And 

XXIV. 6. The collection, according to the commandment of Moses. This 
refers primarily to the tax of half a shekel for the maintenance of the 
sanctuary which Moses ordered to be paid by every male Israelite of 
twenty years and upwards, and which continued to be paid in our Lord's 
time (see marg. ref.). Besides this tax, the people offered free-will 

The tabernacle of witness. ' Witness ' is the same word as ' testimony,' 
and refers to the tables of the Law, enshrined in the most sacred part 
of the Tabernacle. The Law was God's ' witness ' to Israel, both as to 
His own holiness and the holiness He required from them. 

7. The sons of Athaliah. We are not told of any other sons except 
Ahaziah. Perhaps the phrase means the adherents of Athaliah. Cf. 
* sons of the prophets,' ' sons of Belial,' etc. 

8. And at the king's commandment they made a chest. This was a 
new arrangement ordered by the king, as the previous attempt to collect 
money in the different cities of Judah (ver. 5) had been unsuccessful. 
From the narrative in 2 Kings xii. it seems that the priests and Levites 
had been directed only to ask for gifts from their own acquaintances. 
Three possible sources of money are mentioned there : (1) gifts offered to 
provide things actually required for the Temple ; (2) money taken from 
those who had laid themselves under any vow (cf. Acts xxi. 24) ; (3) free- 
will offerings generally. But now the money is to be collected at Jeru- 
salem from all who come to worship. I'robably the failure of this first 
collection was caused by the general lack of interest in the Temple, 
owing to the apostasy of the previous reigns. The king and Jehoiada 
then endeavour successfully to awaken an enthusiasm for the Temple at 
the Temple itself. Those who thus contributed to the one central fund 
would also be more certain that their money was really devoted to the 
purpose for which it was given ; an important consideration in the East, 
where peculation was, and is, extremely common. 


they made a proclamation through Judah and Jerusalem, 
to bring in to the Lord the collection that Moses the 
servant of God laid upon Israel in the wilderness. 10. And 
all the princes and all the people rejoiced, and brought in, 
and cast into the chest, until they had made an end. 1 1 . 
Now it came to pass, that at what time the chest was 
brought unto the king's office by the hand of the Leyites, 
and when they saw that there was much money, the king's 
scribe and the high priest's officer came and emptied the 
chest, and took it, and carried it to his place again. Thus 
they did day by day, and gathered money in abundance. 
12. And the king and Jehoiada gave it to such as did the 
work of the service of the house of the Lord, and hired 
masons and carpenters to repair the house of the Lord, and 
also such as wrought iron and brass to mend the house of 
the Lord. 13. So the workmen wrought, and the work 
was perfected by them, and they set the house of God in 
his state, and strengthened it. 14. And when they had 
finished it, they brought the rest of the money before the 
king and Jehoiada, whereof were made vessels for the 
house of the Lord, even vessels to minister, and to offer 
withal, and spoons, and vessels of gold and silver. And 
they offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord con- 
tinually all the days of Jehoiada. 15. But Jehoiada waxed 
old, and was full of days when he died ; an hundred and 
thirty years old was he when he died. 16. And they 
buried him in the city of David among the kings, because 
he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and toward 
his house. 17. Now after the death of Jehoiada came the 
princes of Judah, and made ol)eisance to the king. Then 

14. The rest of the money . . . whereof were made vessels for the house 
of the LORD. There is an apparent inconsistency between this verse and 
2 Kings xii. 13, wliere we are told that with this money were not made 
various specified articles of gold and silver. But either the vessels 
referred to in Kings are not the same as those in Chronicles ; or else 
the Chronicler is giving further information of what was done after the 
fabric of the Temple had been restored. 

17. The princes of Judah. Evidently the strict Jehovah -worship of 


2 CHRON. XXII. 10-12 ; XXIII. ; XXIV. 

i S. Matthew 
xxiii. 35 ; 
S. Luke xi, 51 

the king hearkened unto them. 18. And they left the 
6 the Asherim. hoiise of the LoRD God of their fathers, and served ^ groves 
and idols : and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for 
this their trespass. 19. Yet he sent prophets to them, to 
bring them again unto the Lord ; and they testified against 
them : but they would not give ear. 20. And the Spirit 
of God came upon ^ Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, 
which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus 
saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the 
Lord, that ye cannot prosper ? because ye have forsaken 
the Lord, he hath also forsaken you. 21. And they con- 
spired against him, and stoned him with stones at the 
commandment of the king in the court of the house of the 
Lord. 22. Thus Joash the king remembered not the kind- 
ness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew 
his son. And when he died, he said, ^ the Lord look upon 
it, and require it 23. And it came to pass at the end of 

Jehoiada had not been in accordance with the tastes of the nobles. These 
did not apparently desire to restore the Baal worship, but rather the older 
corruptions of nature-worship, and the primitive superstitions of the 
land, M-hicli died hard. The ' obeisance ' of the princes of Judah to the 
king was evidently meant to prepare the way to gaining an evil intiuence 
over him. 

20. Zechariah the son of Jehoiada. This prophet's martyrdom is 
referred to by our Lord (see marg. ref. ) as the final act of opposition 
to the Divine message. Of course many prophets were put to death 
after Zechariah's time, e.g. Isaiah and Jeremiah ; but in the Jewish 
arrangement of the Scriptures, (1) Law, (2) Prophets, (3) Holy Writings, 
Chronicles comes in the third and last division, and it is from that point 
of view that our Lord speaks. 

In .S. Matthew's account, Zechariah is called ' the son of Barachiah ' : 
either Zechariah was tlie grandson of Jehoiada, Barachiah being his 
father (grandsons are often called 'sons' in the Bible), or it is a mistake 
of an early copyist who confused this Zechariah witli the later Zechariah, 
A\'huse book is in the canon of Scripture. See note on S. Matt, xxiii. 35, 
in volume on S. Matthew, by Canon Newbolt, in this series. It should 
1)6 noticed that our Lord's description of Zechariah's martyrdom adds 
additional details ('between the temple and tlie altar') to those given by 

j Gen. ix. 5. 

the Cin-onicler. 

22. The LORD look upon it, and require it. I'his pra^'er for the 
righteous vengeance of God is more characteristic of the Old Testament 
than the New (cf. the last words of S. Stephen), though it must ever be 
remem])ered that the character of God is the same in both Testaments. 
The Old Testament is not without allusion to His lore, nor the New to 


the year, that the host of Syria came up against him : and 

they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the 

princes of the people from among the people, and sent all 

the spoil of them unto the king of Damascus. 24. For the 

army of the Syrians came with a small company of men, 

and ^the Lord delivered a very great host into their hand, g-.^'^i^^.j^^J^j: ^^" 

because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers. 17. 

So they executed judgment against Joash, 25. And when 

they were departed from him, (for they left him in great 

diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the 

blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on 

his bed, and he died : and they buried him in the city of 

David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the 

kings. 26. And these are they that conspired against him ; 

Zabad the son of Shimeath an Ammonitess, and Jehozabad 

the son of Shimrith a Moabitess. 27. Now concerning his 

„ 7 Marg. uttered 

sons, and the greatness of the burdens ' laid upon him, and against him. 

His justice. The name ' Zechariah,' curiously enough, means ' The Lord 
remembers. ' 

' After ages declared that the blood of Zechariah continually bubbled 
up from the part of the pavement on which he fell. When the Baby- 
lonian general, Nebuzaradan, after the capture of Jerusalem, entered the 
Temple court, he was struck by the phenomenon, and inquired into the 
cause. The Temple servants strove to persuade him that the blood was 
that of victims recently offered : but when he confuted them by himself 
slaying sacrificial animals, whose blood did not bubble, they confessed 
the truth. The blood was that of a prophet, priest, and judge, %yho had 
foretold all the calamities which Jerusalem had just suffered at his hands 
and at those of Nebuchadnezzar, and who for his plain-speaking had 
been done to death by his own countrymen upon the spot. On hearing 
this, the Babylonian'^ general, bent on propitiating the martyr, slew on 
the place, by thousands, all the rab])is, the school-children, and the 
young priests on Avhom he could lay his hands — Init still the blood bubbled 
on. Then he cried, "0 Zechariali, Zechariah, thou hast destroyed the 
best of thy people : would thou have me destroy all ? " — and the blood 
was quiet'and ceased to bubble' (Rawlinson, in Kiiigs of Israel and 
Jndah, ' Men of tlie Bible " Series). 

23. And it came to pass at the end of the year. So short a time 
intervened between Zechariah's death and the lieginning of Divine 
retribution. Kings tells us that this host of Syrians was under the 
command of Hazael, and that Joash had to buy them off with the 
treasures of the Temple. 

27. The greatness of the burdens laid upon him. See Revised Version 
and the note on 2 Kings ix. 25, p. 21G. 


2 OHBON. XXII. 10-12 ; XXIIT. ; XXIV. 

8 rebuilding, the ^ repairinu' of the house of God, behold, they are written 

9 commentary. Iq the ^ stoiy of the book of the kings. And Amaziah his 

son reigned in his stead. 





1. The preservation of the line of 

The hand of God is plainly to be 
recognised in the hiding of Joash by 
Jehoshabeath. Humanly speaking, 
it seemed that the promise of God 
to David had failed, that the evil 
influence of the alliance with Ahab 
had triumphed ; Athaliah reigned 
in Judah, and Baal had ousted 
Jehovah. But here, as often in 
history, the influence of a woman 
turns the course of events. It was 
not the will of God that the royal 
line should cease, and behind the 
human instruments we must ac- 
knowledge His guiding hand. 

2. A religious coronation. 

The restoration of the line of 
David to the throne was a reli- 
gious act ; the high priest was the 
prime mover in it ; the Levites 
carried it out by his instructions, 
consequently every eff"ort was made 
to emphasise the religious character 
of the kingship. The high priest and 
his sons anointed Joash and crowned 
him ; the roll of the Law was given 
him as the charter of his kingdom, 
and to show his responsibility 
for maintaining the Law : the king 
and his people, at the direction 
of the priestliocjd, entered into a 
solemn covenant to abjure idolatry 
and foreign worships, ami to be the 
people of Jehovah. 

Tlie ceremonies of this c(^ronation 
dou})tless helped to suggest the 
ritual with which Christian nations 
afterwards crowned their kings ; 
ritual which was intended to show 

1. Refer to the promise to David 
(2 Sam. vii. ; xxiii. 5). 

Show that Joash is one of the 
links in the genealogy of our Lord, 
though omitted by S. Matthew 
from the royal line (perhaps only 
for the sake of maintaining the 
number of fourteen generations, the 
number fourteen having probably 
some mystical meaning). 

Describe the child brought up in 
secret in the Temple ; the true king 
waiting God's time, though men 
doubtless thought the line of David 
extinct, and the kingdom given over 
to wickedness. 

2. Describe the coronation of 
Joash, explaining why he was 
crowned by the high priest, and 
the importance of 'the testimon3%' 
Compare with the coronation of 
English kings. 

Refer to 1 Sam. xvi. 13 ; 1 Kings 
i. 39-40. 



Lesson XXVl—contimied. Jo ash 

that the king's autliority and grace 
come from above ; and that, while 
he has no authority to take upon 
himself priestly functions, his office 
is a religious one, and he stands in 
a special relation to the Church, as 
champion and guardian. 

Only in England now is the ancient 
form of coronation fully preserved, 
for the Czar of Russia puts the 
crown on his own head. 

Particularly significant in the 
English rites of coronation are the 
investiture with the ring, when the 
Archbishop says, ' Receive this 
ring, the ensign of kingly dignity 
and of defence of the Catholic 
Faith ' ; and the delivery of the 
Bible, with the words, ' We pre- 
sent you with this Book, the most 
valuable thing that this world 
affords. Here is Wisdom : this is 
the Royal Law ; these are the 
lively Oracles of God.' 

3. A religious reign. 

Joash was brought up in the 
Temple ; his first childish im- 
pressions would be those of re- 
ligion. The high priest was both 
his companion and adviser. Natur- 
ally his thoughts turn to what is 
the highest work of a king, the 
maintenance of the national reli- 
gion. Joash shows a personal 
eagerness for the restoration of 
the Temple. He even rebukes the 
Levites for their slackness, and 
himself suggests the best method of 
collecting money. The zeal of the 
king infects the people. Contri- 
butions are joyfully made, more 
than enough, and those through 
whose hands the money passed were 
so honest (an unusual thing in the 
East) that no account was needed 
(2 Kings xii. 15). 

4. Religious failure. 

As long as the close alliance 
between the king and a faithful 
priesthood remained. Joash 's reign 


3. Remind of David's desire to 
build the Temple, and of Solomon's 
zeal and generosity in building it. 

Show that such love of the House 
of God is specially fitting for a 
king. Many of the cathedrals and 
religious buildings of England owe 
much to kings, e.g. Westminster 
Abbey, where our kings are crowned, 
was first built by a holy king, S. 

Speak of the duty of contributing 
to the maintenance of the Church, 
and point out how the alms-boxes 
in our churches were doubtless 
suggested by the box first provided 
by Joash. 

Remind of S. Mark xii. 41-44. 

4. Joash was probably still young 
when he fell away, perhaps at an 
age when there is great danger 
always of disdaining religious ad- 


2 CHEON. XXII. 10-12 ; XXIII. ; XXIV. 

Lesson XXYI— continued. Joash 


was both religious aud j^rosperous. 
The death of Jehoiada threw the 
king upon secular advisers, who 
still clung in their hearts to the 
ancient idolatries and nature- wor- 
ship. The close of the reign is 
marked by a disregard of pro- 
phets, the martyrdom of Zechariah, 
national reverses, and internal con- 
spiracy, in which the Holy Spirit 
bids us see the hand of Divine 

The shadow of the Messianic king 
which we see in the early piety of 
Joash, and his alliance with the 
priesthood, is blurred and dissi- 
pated by human weakness, vanitj'', 
and self-will. 


visers, and of making friends with 
the world. 

He was too proud to transfer his 
obedience to Jehoiada to his son. 
But it is the office, not the person, 
of which we ought to think. 

A change of clergy ought not to 
make any difference to our obedience 
to their words. Children leaving 
home for the first time specially 
need to remember this. 

Blackboard Sketch. 


1. Saved from death, and hidden in the Temple. 
God remembers His promise to David. 

2. Crowned by the high priest Jehoiada. 
Anointing reminds of gi/ts of God. 
Gro}cn reminds of authority from God. 

The testimony (the Bible) reminds of responsi- 
hiVdy to God. 

3. Prospered so long as guided by Jehoiada. 
Repaired the Temple. 

4. Failed when he forgot the lessons of Jehoiada. 
Killed Jehoiada's son, Zechariah. 
Worshipped idols. 

Defeated by his enemies. 
Murdered by his own servants. 

' Fear the Lord and honour the priest ' 
(Ecclus. vii. 31). 



IN the three and twentieth year of Joash the son of 
Ahaziah king of Judah Jehoahaz the son of Jehu 
began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned 
seventeen years. 2. And he did that which ivas evil in 
the sight of the Lord, and followed the sins of Jeroboam 
the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin ; he departed 
not therefrom. 3. And the anger of the Lord was kindled 
against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of 
** Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Ben-hadad a chap. viii. 12. 
the son of Hazael, ^all their days. 4. And Jehoahaz ^ continually, 
besought the Lord, and the Lord hearkened unto him ; 
for he saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of 
Syria oppressed them. 5. (And the Lord gave Israel ^ a ?* chap. xiv. 26, 
saviour, so that they went out from under the hand of 
the Syrians : and the children of Israel dwelt in their 
tents, as beforetime. 6. Nevertheless they departed not 
from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, who made Israel 
sin, but walked therein : and there remained the ^ grove 2 Asherah. 
also in Samaria.) 7. Neither did he leave of the people 
to Jehoahaz but fifty horsemen, and ten chariots, and ten 
thousand footmen ; for the king of Syria had destroyed 

4. And Jehoahaz besought the LORD. Jehoahaz, though he continued 
the sin of the calf-worship, seems to have been more religious than 
most of his predecessors. This is a remarkable instance of a king's 
prayer for his people, and its fulfilment (cf. 1 Kings viii. 44, 45), thougli 
apparently the effect did not come to any great extent till the next reign. 

5. And the LORD gave Israel a saviour. This refers probably to Jero- 
boam II. (xiv. 27). But the deliverance of Israel from Syria about this 
time was largely due to the fact that Syria was now herself beginning to 
be pressed hard by the power which afterwards crushed both Syria and 
Israel — the empire of Assyria. 

And the children of Israel dwelt in their tents. The use of the word 
' tents ' long outlasted the nomadic period of Israel's existence, when it 
was appropriate, and continued to be used when they dwelt in cities. 
Here the phrase simply means that they dwelt in their homes undis- 
turbed bv invaders. 

240 2 KINGS XIII. 

3 ill. them, and had made them like the dust "^by threshiucj, 

8. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoahaz, and all that he 
did, and his might, are they not written in the book of 
the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 9. And Jehoahaz 
slept with his fathers ; and they buried him in Samaria : 
and Joash his son reigned in his stead. 10. In the thirty 
and seventh year of Joash king of Judah began Jehoash 
the son of Jehoahaz to reign over Israel in Samaria, and 
reigned sixteen years. 11. And he did that which tvas 
evil in the sight of the Lord ; he departed not from all 
the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel 
sin : but he walked therein. 12. And the rest of the acts 

c ciiap. xiv. s. of Joash, and all that he did, and his might ''wherewith he 
fought against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not 

(I 2 Chron, xxv. written ^ in the book of the chronicles of the kings of 
Israel ? 13. And Joash slept with his fathers ; and 
Jeroboam sat upon his throne : and Joash was buried 
in Samaria with the kings of Israel. 14. Now Elisha 
was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And 
Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and 
wept over his face, and said, my father, my father, the 
chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. 15. And 
Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he 
took unto him bow and arrows. 16. And he said to the 
king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he 
put his hand U2)on it : and Elisha put his hands upon the 
king's hands. 17. And he said, Open the window east- 
ward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And 

7. Had made them like tlie dust by threshing. Threshing was done by 
oxen that trampled out the corn from the husk, Israel was 'trodden 
under foot,' and reduced to a condition like the dust and chaff that 
covered the threshing-floor. 

12. His might wherewith he fought against Amaziah king of Judah. 
This is described a little later, both in Kings and Chronicles, in the 
account of the reign of Amaziah. 

17. Open the window eastward — i.e. towards the country across Jordan, 
which was most sul)ject to the raids of the Syrians. The shooting of this 
arrow was a symbolical act of defiance, such as was used among other 
ancient peoples, as a declaration of war. The shooting was Elisha's own 

THE Death of elisha 241 

he shot. And he said, ^The arrow of the Lord's deliver- -i The Lord's 

.11- p n ■ n 1 arrow of vic- 

ance, and the arrow oi deliverance irom iSyria : lor thou tory, even the 
slialt smite the Syrians in <^ Aphek, till thou have consumed tory over Syria. 
them. 18. And he said, Take the arrows. And he took thein. 20! ^^^^^ ^^' 
And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. 
And he smote thrice, and stayed. 19. And the man of God 
was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten 
live or six times ; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou 
hadst consumed it : whereas now thou shalt smite Syria 
but thrice. 20. And Elisha died, and they buried him. 
And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the 
coming in of the year, 21. And it came to pass, as they 
were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of 
men ; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha : 
and when the man was let down, and -^touched the bones / Ecclxis. xiviii. 
of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet. 22. But ' 

act, for he put his hands upon the king's hands. It was an acted pro- 
phecy of victory, 

19, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times. To understand this, 
it should be remembered that prophecy largely made use of symbolical 
actions. It would be quite obvious to the king that Elisha's bidding to 
smite with the arrows upon the ground was of this solemn character. The 
prophet sees in the half-hearted manner in which Joash performs the 
act an illustration of the king's own disposition, and a type of what would 
happen in the contest with Syria, 

' 20, The bands of the Moabites. The territory of the Moabites was 
much to the south of Israel, being east of the Dead Sea. No doubt, 
however, the Syrian raids on the east of Jordan had left the whole of that 
district the prey of marauders, even coming from a considerable distance. 

21, And when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, 
he revived. This is one of the most remarkable miracles of the Old Testa- 
ment, Elisha all through his life, and even after his death, was a type 
of Christ. The revival of the corpse through touching his bones was 
prophetical of the resurrection of the dead, which will be the result of 
God uniting Himself with man in Christ. (Cf, the prophecy of Isaiah 
xxvi. 19.) It was, of course, through no supernatural virtue in the bones 
themselves that the miracle was wrought ; it was the power of God 
which worked through material means. Yet we must remember that in 
the case of Elisha (and the same would apply to miracles said to have 
been performed by the relics of Christian saints) it is sanctity of life, 
which, by God's grace, seems to constitute the proper medium by which 
God's gifts are conveyed to man. It is not because men are holy that 
they do miracles, but God sets His approval upon their holiness by doing 
miracles by their means. 


242 2 KINGS XIII. 

Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of 
Jehoahaz. 23. And the Lord was gracious unto them, 
and had compassion on them, and had respect unto them, 
because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
and would not destroy them, neither cast he them from 
his presence as yet. 24. So Hazael king of Syria died ; 
and Ben-hadad his son reigned in his stead. 25. And 
Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again out of the hand 
of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael the cities, which he 
had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war. 
Three times did Joash beat him, and recoA^ered the cities 
of Israel. 

23. And had respect unto them — i.e. God, from the point of view of 
man, did not forget His people, but took notice of their afflictions. So He 
is said to have ' seen ' and ' taken knowledge ' of the Israelites in Egypt 
(Exod. ii.). 

Neither cast he them from his presence as yet. God did not, as yet, 
allow them to lose their existence in His sight as a nation. At the 
time, however, when the Books of Kings were written, the ten tribes were 
scattered, and had lost their national independence, their country, even 
their very existence, though, of course, members of the ten tribes still 
existed as separate units, and many found their way back to Palestine. 


The Death of Elisha 

Part I 

Matter. Method. 

1. The true Giver of victory. 1. Describe the visit of Joash to 

Though an evil king (vcr. 11), the dying prophet, and explain the 

Joash shows reverence for Elisha i^^^^^^ . ^j^^ ^^^^-^^ ^f j^^^^^j , ^^c. 
honours hmi on his death-bed, and 

attributes to his holy influence any 

The king was ri<jht in what he 

strength which his kingdom pos- said, for holiness is stronger than 

sessed. armies. 

In a sense the king was right in Yet the king M^as wronq, for the 

this. EHsha had been ' the chariot strength of both the nation and the 
or Israel and the horsemen thereof. 1^.1 n • n j 

He had not only },een the means of P^'^Pl^f.l^y ^'^f^ly ^^ God. 
discomfiting the Syrians, but his Explain in this sense the shooting 

influence had kept alive something of the arrow and the words that 

of true religion among the schools accompanied it. 
of the prophets and the worship- 



Lesson XXVII — continued. The Death of Elisha 

pers of Jehovah. He had made 
Israel respected among neighbour- 
ing nations. 

And 3^et the last actions of the 
prophet seem intended to impress 
on the king the truth that God is 
really the only strength of a nation, 
that all victory comes from Him. 
The arrow shot forth from the pro- 
phet's death-chamber is ' the arrow 
of the Lord's victory.' Men pass, 
but God remains. 

2. Man's co-operation with God. 

It was the will of God to give 
victory over .Sj'ria. Yet here as 
everywhere He required the willing 
co-operation of man. The king 
* smote thrice and stayed,' an in- 
voluntary revelation of his charac- 
ter and a parable of the future. He 
sorrowed over the death of Elisha, 
but he could not enter into the 
prophet's spirit. His trust in God's 
victory was not strong enough 
to make him do his part. So he 
failed fully to use the help of God. 
The hero of faith is he who trusts 
God wholly and therefore does him- 
self everything that he can do. 

See Pusey's sermon on * The 
Losses of the Saved.' 


2. The striking of the arrows on 
the ground was a sign of God's help 
in beating down the Syrians. But 
the king stopped before he was told 
to do so, through sloth or unbelief. 

God did help him, but would have 
helped him much more if he himself 
had been more energetic. 

God is willing to help us, but we 
must work ourselves. 

Apply to victory over temptation, 
improvement of talents, use of time. 

Blackboard Sketch. 


Elisha's Death. 

The true Giver of victory is God. 

Elisha is dying. ' The chariot of Israel and 

the horsemen thereof.' 
But the arrow of the Lord's victory is shot. 

Men die, but God's help never dies. 

Man must tcorh loith God. 

Joash was half-hearted. He stopped when 

he ought to have gone on. 
The Lord's victory was incomplete. 



Lesson XXVII — continued. The Death of Elisha 

Part II — Elisha in Death a Tijpe of Christ 

Matter. Method. 

1. Describe the miracle. Ask 
M'hat there was in the bones of 
Elisha that could make a dead man 

Show that the power to give life 
rests with God alone. He could give 
it through Elisha dead just as easily 
as through Elisha living (2 Kings 

Refer to the circumstances of the 
cleansing of Naaman, and the de- 
livery from the Syrian armies. 

Cf. Acts iii. 12. 

1. The dead raised to life. 
This miracle is strictly in line 

with the previous miracles and 
prophecies of Elisha. Throughout, 
power comes from God ; the prophet 
]s the instrument. This truth 
would be clearly seen when a 
miracle was wrought even after 
the prophet's death. There would 
be no power in a dead man's body 
to restore life ; the idea is a contra- 
diction. Moreover, the dead body 
was to the Jew unclean ; the living 
Avho touched it was defiled. 

The heathen idea of a prophet 
was a wonder-worker, one who by 
his own sanctity or supernatural 
knowledge could compel nature to 
obedience or control future events. 
The Divine education given to 
Israel was to teach the reference of 
all things to the will and power of 
one God. 

2. The resurrection of the dead. 

The prophets could only point 
to God, and act as His instruments. 
The Lord Jesus Christ was truly 
God ; and He said, ' I am the resur- 
rection and the life.' By His own 
Divine power He Himself not merely 
came back from the dead, but arose 
from the dead, never to die again. 
He by His own resurrection gave 
to man the power of rising again. 
And this can only be a resurrection 
to life eternal by union with Christ 
(of which the contact with Elisha's 
l)ones was a type). Baptism is our 
first union with Christ, and there- 
fore it is spoken of as a new birth, 
a resurrection. Similarly, the eating 
of Christ's flesh and drinking His 
blood is a condition of being raised 
up at the last day (S. John vi. 54). 

Therefore the early fathers called 
the Eucharist ' the food of immor- 

2. 'I look for the resurrection 
of the dead.' Why? 

Because Christ, who is God, and 
has power of life and death, raised 
Himself, and has promised to raise 

Explain the ditFerence between a 
mere restoration to earthly life and 
resurrection to life eternal. 

Trace the analogy between the 
contact with Elisha's bones and our 
union with Christ. 

Refer to gifts of Baptism, ' a 
member of Christ,' and to teaching 
of S. John vi. and Rom. viii. 11. 

Illustrate by words of administra- 
tion in Holy Communion Service, 
' Preserve thy body and soul unto 
everlasting life. ' 



Blackboard Sketch. 



God . . . 

. . The Lord Jesus Who 

is true God 

by Elisha's bones 

. by His Resurrection 

restored dead man 

will raise the faithful dead 

to earthly life . 

. . to endless life 

by touch . . 

. . by union with Himself 


Holy Baptism, 

Holy Communion. 

246 2 CHRON. XXV. 


A IMAZIAH was twenty and five years old when lie began 

jLL to reign, and he reigned twenty and nine years in 

Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jehoaddan 

of Jerusalem. 2. And he did that which ivas right in the 

sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart. 3. Now 

it came to pass, when the kingdom was established to him, 

that he slew his servants that had killed the king his 

father. 4. But he slew not their children, but did as it is 

a Deut. xxiv. written ^ in the law in the book of Moses, where the Lord 
10. . ' 

commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the 

^ Ezek. xviii. children, neither shall the children die for the fiithers, ^ but 
every man shall die for his own sin. 5. Moreover Aniaziah 
gathered Judah together, and made them caj^tains over 
thousands, and captains over hundreds, according to the 
houses of their fathers, throughout all Judah and Benjamin : 
and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, 

c cliap. xiv. 8. and found them '^ three hundred thousand choice men, able 
to go forth to war, that could handle sjjear and shield. 
6. He hired also an hundred thousand mighty men of 
valour out of Israel for an hundred talents of silver. 7. 
But there came a man of God to him, saying, king, let 
not the army of Israel go with thee ; for the Lord is not 
with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim. 8. 

2. But not witli a perfect heart. The parallel iu 2 Kings xiv. has, * not 
like David his father.' This is further explained in Chronicles by the act 
which is not recorded in Kings (see ver. 14). David never worshipped 
any God but Jehovah. 

6. He hired also an hundred thousand mighty men of valour out 
of Israel. This remarkable incident is not recorded in Kings. The 
Chronicler is fond of round numbers, and possibly the mercenaries were 
not so numerous as stated, l)ut it shows that the northern kingdom 
must have been in a strangely disorganised state (no doubt owing to 
the long war with Syria) if so many ' soldiers of fortune ' were at large 
and could be hired by another power. 

7. For the LORD is not with Israel. The established idolatry of Israel 
(called in popular language ' Ephraim,' after the name of the largest tribe) 


But if thou wilt go, ^ do it, be strong for the battle : God i do valiantly. 

shall make thee fall before the enemy : for <^ God hath power d chap. xx. 6. 

to helf), and to cast down. 9. And Amaziah said to the 

man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents 

which I have given to the ^ army of Israel ? And the man 2 troop. 

of God answered, The Lord is able to give thee much 

more than this. 10. Then Amaziah separated them, to 

wit, the army that was come to him out of Ephraim, to go 

home again : wherefore their anger was greatly kindled 

against Judah, and they returned home in great anger. 

II. And Amaziah ^ strengthened himself, and led forth his ^ took courage. 

people, and went to ^ the valley of salt, and smote of the e Josh. xy. 62 ; 

children of Seir ten thousand. 12. And other ten thousand 1 chron. xviii.' 

left alive did the children of Judah carry away captive, and 

brought them unto the top of the rock, and cast them 

down from the top of * the rock, that they all were ^ ^^"'"ff- Seia. 

broken in pieces. 13. But the soldiers of the army which 

Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to 

was now rapidly leading towards the final doom, which took place a 
century later. It was important that, if possible, Judah and the throne 
of David should be kept from the contamination of their neighbours. 
The prophecies of Hosea and Amos belong to this period or a little later, 
and illustrate vividly the condition, religious and social, of the northern 
kingdom. See Hos. xi. 12. 

8. But if thou wilt go, do it. See Revised Version. The words are 
used b}^ the prophet ironically. 

10. Wherefore their anger was greatly kindled against Judah. They 
had received their money (ver, 9), but apparently they were indignant 
at the insult put upon them, as they deemed it. 

11. And went to the valley of salt — at the south of the Dead Sea ; there 
Abishai, the brother of Joab, had defeated the Edomites in David's time 
(see refi". ). 

The children of Seir — i.e. the Edomites, had revolted in the reign of 
Jehoram (xxi. 8, 9). Amaziali's attack on them was intended to punish 
tliem and bring them back to their dependence. The treatment of the 
captives described in the next verse shows tlie comparatively low state of 
civilisation or even humanity among the Israelites. It M'as certainly 
revolting to the conscience of the prophets (cf. Amosi., ii.), but tliat it 
should have taken place ought to prevent any surprise being felt at the 
evident gap wliich exists between the precepts of the Law of Moses and 
the actual practice of the people. The narrative in Kings adds that 
Amaziah took Sela (or Petra) the Edomite rock- capital and changed its 
name to Joktheel, i.e. 'the subdued of God.' 

248 2 CHRON. XXV. 

battle, fell upon the cities of Jiidah, from Samaria even 
unto Beth-horon, and smote three thousand of them, and 
took much spoil. 14. Now it came to pass, after that 
Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, 
/ chap, xxviii. that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and -^set 
them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before 
them, and burned incense unto them. 15. Wherefore the 
anger of the Lord was kindled against Amaziah, and he 
sent unto him a prophet, which said unto him. Why hast 
thou sought after the gods of the people, which could not 
deliver their own people out of thine hand ? 16. And it 
came to pass, as he talked with him, that the Icing said 

5 Have we made unto him, •'' Art thou made of the king's counsel ? forbear ; 

why shouldest thou be smitten ? Then the prophet for- 
bare, and said, I know that God hath determined to destroy 
thee, because thou hast done this, and hast not hearkened 
unto my counsel. 17. Then Amaziah king of Judah took 
advice, and sent to Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, the son of 
Jehu, king of Israel, saying. Come, let us see one another 
in the face. 18. And Joash king of Israel sent to Ama- 

6 Marg. thorn, ziali king of Judah, saying, The ^ thistle that loas in 

Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying. 
Give thy daughter to my son to wife : and there passed l)y 

13. From Samaria even unto Betli-lioron. Samaria was, of course, 
outside the territory of Judah, and it has been suggested that the 
copyists have made a mistake, and that the original name was not 
Samaria, but Zamaraim, or Ephrain. 

14. He brought the gods of the children of Seir. This act was quite in 
accordance with the practice of the ancient heathen nations. As each 
nation was supposed to have its national god, who was supreme in his 
own territory, it was the aim of a would-be conqueror to win over his 
enemy's gods to his own side ; and to transfer them to his own capital 
would be a visible sign of the incorporation of the conquered nation with 
the victorious one. The chief Edomite god was called Koze (Josephus). 

17. Come, let us see one another in the face. This may have been 
meant as a direct challenge to battle, or only an invitation to a confer- 
ence about some matter in dispute. If the latter, the Chronicler uses the 
phrase in a double sense, satirically in ver. 20. 

18. The thistle that was in Lebanon, etc. This contemptuous parable 
(Judah being tlie thistle, and Israel the cedar) should be compared with 
Jotham's parable of the trees choosing a king (Judges ix. 7-15). 


a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the 

thistle. 19. Thou sayest, Lo, thou hast smitten the 

Edomites ; and thine heart lifteth thee up to boast : abide 

now at home : why should est thou ^ meddle to thine hurt, ' Marg. pro- 
voke calamity. 
that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with thee ? 

20. But Amaziah would not hear ; for it came of God, that 

he might deliver them into the hand of their enemies, 

because they sought after the gods of Edom. 21. So Joash 

the king of Israel went up ; and they saw one another in 

the face, both he and Amaziah king of Judah, at Beth- 

shemesh, which belongeth to Judah. 22. And Judah was 

put to the worse before Israel, and they fled every man to 

his tent. 23. And Joash the king of Israel took Amaziah 

king of Judah, the son of Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, at 

Beth-shemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and brake 

down the wall of Jerusalem from ^ the gate of Ephraim to g Neh. viii. 16. 

the corner gate, four hundred cubits. 24. And he took all 

the gold and the silver, and all the vessels that were found 

in the house of God with '^ Obed-edom, and the treasures 'i- i Chron. 

xxvi. 15. 

of the king's house, the hostages also, and returned to 
Samaria. 25. And Amaziah the son of Joash king of 
Judah lived after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz king 
of Israel fifteen years. 26. Now the rest of the acts of 
Amaziah, first and last, behold, are they not written in the 
book of the kings of Judah and Israel? 27. Noav after 
the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the 
Lord they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem ; 
and he fled to Lachish : but they sent to Lachish after 
him, and slew him there. 28. And they brought him 
upon horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city 
of Judah. 

20. It came of God. God did not actually lead Amaziah on to his 
defeat, but sufi'ered him to go on in his own headstrong purpose. He had 
wilfully disobeyed God's law and God's prophet, and so he lost God's 
guidance and protection. See note on 1 Sam. ii. 25 (vol. i.). 

28. And they broug-ht him upon horses. Lachish, a strong city on the 
south-west border of Judah — means literally ' horse-toAvn ' (cf. Micah i. L3) ; 
though the horses spoken of hero may have been either those on whicli 
the king himself had escaped, or those of his pursuers. 






1. Trust in the power of man. 

The special feature of Amaziah's 
reign is his vain confidence, in spite 
of warnings, in other things than 
God. To secure the services of 
such a large body of Israelite war- 
riors was a tempting thing ; but 
alliances with Israel had already 
produced evil fruit in the reign of 
Jehoshaphat. " It was a striking 
lesson to Amaziah to be told that 
he would be stronger without the 
' hundred thousand mighty men of 
valour ' from Israel ; more than 
that, his money would be well lost 
if he gave up all that he seemed to 
have bought with it. The supreme 
lesson for the king, whose throne 
depended on the promises of God, 
was that God must be all in all. God 
was the one source of strength, and 
money could not buy true strength. 
The money itself was God's gift. 
God could give more than all that 
was lost by sending away the 
Israelite warriors. 

2. Trust in false gods. 
Amaziah's action was in accord- 
ance with the spirit of his age. 
Here again he is bidden to learn a 
supernatural lesson. There is no 
God but one ; the superstition which 
bade him propitiate and keep on his 
side the gods of a defeated nation 
was folly. It was not the gods 
of Seir which had delivered their 
worshippers into liis hands. Such 
gods could neither help nor refuse 
to help. All power came from 
Jehovah, and with Him on one's 
side, there was no fear of the gods 
of the heatlien. 

3. Trust in self. 

The same spirit which made 
Amaziah threaten and reject the 


1. ^^'ithout using the word 'ma- 
terialism,' the teacher should bear 
in mind that there is a special 
danger in our own times of thinking 
that money is practically all power- 
ful : also of imagining that the 
race is always to the swift, and the 
battle to the strong. When men 
leave out God in their calculation 
of the elements of success, they 
commit the blunder that Amaziah 
was in danger of, and sometimes 
have a sad awakening. 

Cf. Jer. ix. 23-24. 

Illustratethis incident by Gideon's 
army (Judges vii. 2, etc. ). 

2. The first article of the faith is 
belief in one God. From this the 
Divine education of Israel took its 
beginning, ef. the First Command- 

Though the actual sin of Amaziah 
is no longer possible, the same 
danger remains, of allowing worldly 
policy or superstition to set up rival 
gods. God is a 'jealous God,' i.e. 
He cannot tolerate a rival. His 
supreme claim must come before 
everything else. 

Cf. S. Matt. vi. 24. 

3. Show that running into danger, 
whether moral or physical, unneces- 
sarily, is 'tempting dod.' 



Lesson XXVIII— continued. Amaziah 


prophet who warned him against 
contemporary superstition, made 
him challenge Israel needlessly, and 
deafened his ears to the parable of 
Joash, which, if contemptuously 
expressed, was certainly true, and 
perhaps kindly meant. Amaziah 
evidently attributed his victory over 
the Edomites to his own strength. 
The holy writer attributes his 
blind presumption to the hand of 
God, Who was allowing him to be 
punished by his own sin. 

The challenge he had sent to 
Joash was really a tempting of 

We are warned against this daily 
in the Venite ; we pray against it 
in the third collect at Morning 
Prayer and in the clause of the 
Lord's Prayer, 'Lead us not into 

Blackboard Sketch. 


Vain confidence — 

in multitude of men, 
in the power of money ; 
in false gods ; 
in himself. 

The result — Presumption, tempting God. 

The end — Defeat, 

Learn — ' God hath power to help and to 
cast down' (ver. 9). 

252 2 CHKON. XXVI. 


mHEN all the people 

)f Judah took Uzziah, who was 
X sixteen years old, and. made him king in the room of 
his father Amaziah. 2. He built Eloth, and restored 
it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers. 
3. Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, 
and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His 
1 Jechiiiah. mother's name also was ^ Jecoliah of Jerusalem. 4. And 
he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, 
according to all that his father Amaziah did. 5. And he 
sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understand- 
ing in the visions of God : and as long as he sought the 
Lord, God made him to prosper. 6. And he went forth 
and warred against the Philistines, and brake down the 
wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of 

L Uzziah, called in Kings usually Azariah, but Uzziah in 2 Kings xv. 
13, 32, 34, and in the writings of the prophets. The two names are very 
similar in Hebrew, and the meaning is nearly the same, Azariah meaning 
'helped by Jehovah,' and Uzziah 'might of Jehovah.' This was the 
longest reign in the whole history of the monarchy except that of Man- 
asseh, and one of the most prosperous ; indeed, the one which most nearly 
resembled that of Solomon. 

2. He built Eloth. The same as Elath ; the port of Solomon, on the gulf 
of Akaba (see notes on pp. 53 and 59). Since the time of Jehoshaphat, and 
the disaster which had happened to his fleet (1 Kings xxii.), no attempt 
apparently had been made to restore the sea power and commerce of 

After that the king slept with his fathers. This must mean after the 
murder of Amaziah, recorded in the previous chapter. It is supposed 
that Uzziali must have been regent or joint ruler with his father, before 
the latter's deatli, perhaps while he was hiding at Lacliish. 

5. Zechariah. Nothing is known of this prophet ; it -was a common 
name. Possibly he may have been the author of the latter part of the 
Book of Zechariah, which is often supposed to have been the work of 
some earlier prophet than the Zechariah of the Return, who wrote chaps, 
i.-viii. But the allusion to Uzziah in Zech. xiv. 5, seems to imply that 
his reign Avas over. 

6. Brake down the wall of Gath. Gath had already suffered under a 
Syrian invasion (2 Kings xii. 17). It was the first to disappear of the five 
great cities of the Philistines (see Zech. ix. 5, 6). 

Jabneh is the later Jamnia, famous in Jewish history, after the destruc- 


Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and among the 
Philistines. 7. And God helped him against the Philis- 
tines, and against the Arabians that dwelt in Gur-baal, and 
the ^Mehunims. 8. And the Ammonites gave gifts to - Meunim. 
Uzziah : and his name spread abroad even to the entering 
in of Egypt ; for he strengthened himself exceedingly. 
9. Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the 
corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of 
the wall, and fortified them. 10. Also he built towers in 

the desert, and ^ digged many wells, for he had much cattle, " '^ewed out 

'^^ -J ' ' many cisterns. 

both in the low country, and in the plains : husbandmen 

also, and vine dressers in the mountains, and in "* Carmel : ^ the fruitful 

' ' fields. 

for he loved husbandry. 11. Moreover Uzziah had an host 

of fighting men, that Avent out to war by bands, according 

tion of Jerusalem by the Romans, for its Rabbinical schools. There a 
synod was held (100 a.d.) which is said to have settled the authoritative 
Hebrew Canon of the Old Testament. 

Ashdod is the Azotus of the New Testament (Acts viii. 40). 

8. His name spread abroad even to the entering in of Egypt. Thus 
Uzziah revived to some extent the empire of Solomon, as he was acknow- 
ledged as overlord by the different tribes between Judah and the border 
of Egypt, as well as by the Philistines on the sea coast, and the Ammon- 
ites on the east of Jordan. 

9. Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem. ' He strengthened the 
defences of Jerusalem by building towers at its three weakest points — 
' the corner gate,' a gate probably at the north-western angle of the city, 
where the north wall abutted on the valley of Hinnoni ; ' the valley gate,' 
midway in the western wall, corresponding to the modern gate of Jafi"a ; 
and the ' turning of the wall,' a weak place in the defences of the eastern 
city (Nell. iii. 19), perhaps the southern point of the valley of the Tyro- 
pwon' (Rawlinson, from Ewald). 

10. Also lie built towers in the desert. These towers would be for 
defence and protection of the flocks in the event of a sudden raid, like 
the ancient 'peel-towers' in the border country between England and 
Scotland. The ' desert ' means, not a barren place, but a region of pasture- 
land without villages or towns. 

And digged many wells. See Revised Version. These cisterns were 
for the storage of rain water, essential for the watering of flocks during 
the seasons of drought. 

In the low country, and in the plains. The ' low country ' is the Shc- 
phelah, the low hills that lie between the plain of the Philistine country 
and the higher and more central mountains of Palestine. ' The plains ' 
means the high plateaus on the east of Jordan. 

254 2 CHRON. XXVI. 

to the number of their ticcoimt by the hand of Jeiel the 

scribe and Maaseiah the ruler, under the hand of Hananiah, 

5 the heads of one of the kinsi^'s captains. 12. The whole number of ^the 
fathers' « , . , n -, 

chief of the fathers of the mighty men of valour were two 

thousand and six hundred. 13. And under their hand was 

<■> a trained G .^q army three hundred thousand and seven thousand and 
army. '' 

five hundred, that made war with mighty power, to help 

the king against the enemy. 14. And Uzziah prepared 
for them throughout all the host shields, and spears, and 
7 coats of mail, helmets, and ^ habergeons, and bows, and ^ slings to cast 
siin-,'ing. stones. 15. And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented 

9 battlements, by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the ^ bul- 
warks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his 
name spread far abroad ; for he was marvellously helped, 
till he was strong. 16. But when he was strong, his heart 

1" so that he ^yj^g lifted up ^^ to his destruction : for he transgressed 
did corruptly. ^ '^ 

against the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the 
Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense. 17. And 
Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him four- 

14. Slings to cast stones. See Revised Version. A supply of ammuni- 
tion for the slinger.s was laid up in store of carefully selected stones, 
round and smooth, and of suitable size. (Cf. I Sam. xvii. 40.) 

_ 15. Engines, invented by cunning men. These would no doubt be 
similar to the halHsUE and catapultiv used in siege operations by the 
ancient Romans, which were believed to have been invented in Syria. 
The former engine cast huge stones, and the latter arrows. Both were 
worked by means of some powerful spring, which, when released, hurled 
the projectile at the enemy. In 1 Mace. vi. 51, both are alluded to, 
'instruments for casting fire and stones, and pieces to cast darts.' 

IG. And went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense. Not only 
was the offerini^ of incense an exclusively sacerdotal function, but the 
very entrance into the Holy Place was forbidden to any but priests. 
Holy kings like David and Solomon had indeed taken a prominent part 
in the worship of God (though it is doubtful whether they actually ofllered 
sacrifices themselves), but they had never intruded into the sanctuary, 
nor so presumed on their royal office as to usurp that of the priesthood. 
The sin oi Uzziah has been repeated all down the ages in the various 
attempts of the secular power to override the ordinances of the Church, 
to alter her laws, or circumscribe her liberty of teaching and worship. 
The courage of Azariah and his fellow-priests has not always been imi- 
tated by the rulers of the Christian Church. The law of God, however, 
is t<^o sacred to surrender, even if a king or the popular voice demand it. 


score priests of the Lord, that were valiant men : 18. And 
they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It 
appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto 
the Lord, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are 
consecrated to burn incense : go out of the sanctuary ; for 
thou hast trespassed ; neither shall it he for thine honour 
from the Lord God. 19. Then Uzziah was wroth, and had 
a censer in his hand to burn incense : and while he was 
wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his 
forehead before the priests in the house of the Lord, from 
beside the incense altar. 20. And Azariah the chief j)riest, 
and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he loas 
leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from 
thence ; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the 
Lord had smitten him. 21. And Uzziah the king was a 
leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several 
house, being a leper ; for he was cut off from the house of 
the Lord : and Jotham his son was over the king's house, 
judging the people of the land. 22. Now the rest of the 
acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the 
son of Amoz, write. 23. So Uzziah slept with his fathers, 
and they buried him with his fathers in the field of the 
burial which belonged to the kings ; for they said, He is 
a leper : and Jotham his son reigned in his stead. 

21. And dwelt in a several hovise—i.e. in a house separated from his 
fellow-meu (R.V. mar;/, lazar-house). The king, who had presumed in 
his pride to enter the Holy Place, is debarred even from entrance into 
the Temple precincts. 

22. Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz. This first mention of the 
greatest of the writing prophets should be noticed. Isaiah received his 
prophetic call for a special mission in the last year of Uzziah's reign (see 
Isa. vi. 1). This was probably in the year 740 B.C., and, according to 
Jewish tradition, he outlived Hezekiah (697 B.C.), and was put to death 
by Manasseh. The best account of Isaiah is to be found in Driver's 
Isaiah, in ' Men of the Bible ' .Series. 

23. For they said, He is a leper. These words imply that the separation 
of the leper-king during his life was maintained in his burial. He was 
buried in the royal cemetery, and apparently in a separate tomb. 






1. What a king can do. 

The reign of Uzziah approaches 
nearest iu glory and prosperity to 
that of Solomon. He restored to 
some extent the sea-power of Judah 
by building Eloth. Besides being 
a patron of sailors, he was a warrior, 
and broke the power of the Philis- 

He was a builder and a patron of 
husbandry, improving the resources 
and the defences of his countr}^ re- 
organising the army, and fortifying 
Jerusalem with the most elaborate 
methods then known. 

All these works were done under 
God's approval and guidance, being 
advised by the prophet Zechariah. 

2. What a king cannot do. 

Lifted up with pride at his suc- 
cesses, Uzziah tried to do what 
no king apparently had ever done 
before him, exercise the 'priestly 
office, in one of its most peculiar 
functions, offering incense within 
the Holy Place. The priesthood, 
just as much as the kingship, had 
its special covenant with God, and 
rested upon a Divine gift and Divine 
promises (Num. xvi. 40, xviii. 7, 
XXV. 13; Deut. xxxiii. 8-11). Only 
in the Messiah could the kingly 
and priestly offices be cf)ni]jined 
(Zech. vi. 13). Death, or at least 
separation from the commonwealth 
of Israel, would be the ordinary 
penalty for sacrilege. As the king 
could not be punished by man, the 
hand of God intervened, and by the 
infliction of leprosy separated Uz- 
ziah from the common worship ; he 
was ' cut off from the house of the 


1. Describe the different works 
of Uzziah, comparing them with 
those of Solomon. 

Show that these are still the 
proper M^orks of kings and rulers, 
for M'hich they specially need the 
gifts of God's grace and the prayers 
of His Church. 

Cf. the second collect for the 
King in the Communion Service, 
that ' He may ever study to pre- 
serve Thy people committed to his 
charge in wealth' {i.e. prosperity), 
'peace, and godliness.' 

2. Describe the sin of Uzziah, 
and explain carefully the sepai'ation 
of the functions of kings and priests 
in the Old Testament. 

It is most important to explain 
in connection with this, the distinc- 
tion between secular and spiritual 
authority in the Christian Church. 

The Christian ministry does not 
depend on natural birth as did that 
of the Levites and the sons of Aaron ; 
but on Ordination — 

See S. Matt, xxviii. 19-20 ; 

S. John XX. 21-23 ; 

Acts vi. 3-6 ; 

xiii. 1-4 ; 

xiv. 23; 

1 Tim. iii ; 

iv. 14; 

2 Tim. i. 6. 



Lesson XXIX — continued. Uzziah 


This same separation of offices 
continues by God's ordinance under 
the new Covenant. It is essential 
for the maintenance of God's honour, 
otherwise spiritual things would 
become confused with the things of 
this world. 

The priesthood does not now 
depend upon natural descent, but 
on supernatural. Not the children 
of a particular family, but those 
who are called in the Church to 
receive the special laying on of 
hands and the special gift of the 
Holy Ghost, which we call Ordina- 
tion, have alone the right to perform 
those spiritual offices which are the 
antitypes and realities correspond- 
ing to the types and shadows of Old 
Testament worship. 

Thus no secular authority, neither 
Monarch nor Parliament, has any 
right to interfere with the doctrine 
or worship of the Church. The 
definition of doctrine was commit- 
ted by Christ to His apostles in the 
words giving them authority ' to 
bind and to loose,' and of this power 
the bishops of the Catholic Church 
are alone the inheritors. 

Similarly the power of admini- 
stering Sacraments, especially of the 
Holy Eucharist, and of teaching in 
the Church, belongs only to the 
priesthood, i.e. to bishops and to 
priests authorised b}' a bishop, with 
the sin',de exception of Baptism, 
which, on account of its universal 
necessity, may, on emergency, be 
administered liy a layman or lay- 

But all that pertains to the due 
performance of the distinctive wor- 
ship of the Christian Church, of 
which the incense in tlie Jewish 
Church was a tj'pe, belongs exclus- 
ively to the ordained. 

See the Preface to the Ordinal, 
and also Articles xxiii. and xxxvii. 



Ordination confers authority — 
To teach. 

To administer the Sacra- 

With older children explain also 
that neither King nor Parliament 
can alter the Creed nor the Sacra- 
ments, nor can they either make or 
unmake a minister of the Church. 

Warn against the vulgar error 
that ' establishment ' gives any 
spiritual authority to the State or 
State officers. 

Illustrate by the fact that when 
Henry viii. desired the title * Sup- 
reme Head of the Church,' the 
bishops added the reservation, ' as 
far as is permitted hy the law of 

Point out that Christ is the true 
and only Head of the Church, and 
that the Sovereign now no longer 
claims that profane title, but simply 
that of 'Supreme Governor.' 



Lesson XXIX- 

itimied. Uzziah 


In the Church of England the 
Sovereign is recognised as ' Supreme 
(Tovernor ' (not as ' Supreme Head '). 
He is finally responsible for the 
administration of justice, and for 
ensuring that the clergy do their 
duty, but ' we give not to our Princes 
the ministering either of God's 
Word or of the Sacraments ' (Art. 


Blackboard Sketch. 

An example of — 

(1) What a king can do — maintain wealth, 

peace, godliness. 

(2) What a king cannot do, viz. — the work of 

a priest. 

Jeivish Chu7xh. 


Sons of Aaron only, 

Christian Church. 

Entered Holy Place, 
offered incense, which 
even kings could not 
do, .... 

r Appointed by Ordina- 
l tion only. 

Have authority from 
To teach, 
To administer Sa- 
craments ; 
which kings have 


2 KINGS XIV. 23-29; XV. 8-31; 2 CHRON. XXVII. ; 

2 KINGS XVI. 1-5; 2 CHRON. XXVIII. 8-15; 


IN the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of 
Jiidah Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel began 
to reign in Samaria, and reigned forty and one years. 
24. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord : 
he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of 
Nebat, who made Israel to sin. 25. He restored the coast 
of Israel from the entering of Hamath imto "the sea of the a Deut. iii. 17. 
plain, according to the word of the Lord God of Israel, 
which he spake by the hand of his servant ^ Jonah, the son h Jonah i. i ; 
of Amittai, the prophet, which was of ''Gath-hepher. 26. 40/ ^ ■^"' ' 
For the Lord saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very '^ "^°'^^^' ''''^" ^^' 
bitter : for there ivas not any shut up, nor any left, nor 
any hefper for Israel. 27. And the Lord said not that he 

23. Jeroboam the son of Joash. This was one of the most powerful 
sovereigns of the northern kingdom ; his conquests are described in the 
subsequent verses. But although he was allowed by God to deliver Israel 
for a time from foreign oppression, to give them respite for repentance, 
his own attitude towards God was no better than that of his predecessors. 
The book of Amos should be read in this connection, which gives a vivid 
picture of the condition of Israel under Jeroboam 11. — its outward pros- 
perity and self-complacency, and its inward corruption. See especially 
Amos vii., where the prophet's encounter with the priest of the idol- 
sanctuary at Bethel is described. Hosea also prophesied during the 
reign of the same king. 

25. From the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain. A general 
expression, signifying that Jeroboam restored the ancient possessions of 
Israel east of Jordan. Hamath was a city bordering on Syria, and one 
of the possessions of David and Solomon; and so the 'entering in of 
Hamath' means the point where "ne entered tlie old territory of Israel. 
The 'sea of the Arabah ' (R.V. ) means the Dead Sea, the termination of 
the Arabah or ravine of the Jordan. 

Jonah, the son of Amittai. This must be the same as the prophet 
whose mission to Nineveh is recorded in the Book of Jonah. He is 
mentioned here alone in the historical books. Gath-hepher was near 
Nazareth, and Jonah was thus a prophet of Galilee, although the Phari- 
sees of our. Lord's time ignored this in their scorn of the Galiheans 
(S. John vii. 52). 

260 2 KINGS XV. 8-31 

would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven : but 
he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash. 
28. Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he 
did, and his might, how he warred, and how he recovered 
Damascus, and Hamath, which belonged to Judah, for 
Israel, are they not written in the book of the chronicles 
of the kings of Israel ? 29. And Jeroboam slept with his 
fathers, even with the kings of Israel ; and Zachariah his 
son reigned in his stead. 

XV. 8-31. In the thirty and eighth year of Azariah 
1 Zechariah. king of Judah did ^ Zachariah the son of Jeroboam reign 
over Israel in Samaria six months. 9. And he did that 
which was evil in the sight of the Lord, as his fathers had 
done : he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son 
of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. 10. And Shallum the 
son of Jabesh conspired against him, and smote him before 
the people, and slew him, and reigned in his stead. 11. 
And the rest of the acts of ^ Zachariah, behold, they are 
written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. 
12. This was the word of the Lord which he spake unto 
d chap. X. 30. Jehu, saying, ^Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel 
unto the fourth generation. And so it came to pass. 13. 
Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the nine and 
thirtieth year of Uzziah king of Judah ; and he reigned a 
full month in Samaria. 14. For Menahem the son of 
Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and 
smote Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and slew him, 
and reigned in his stead. 15. And the rest of the acts of 

•27. The LORD said not that he would blot out the name of Israel from 
under heaven. This implies that the Lord did afterwards do this ; but 
as yet there was a time left for Israel to repent. 

XV. S. Azariah, i.e. Uzziah, see note on p. 252. 

10. Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and smote him 
before the people. Zachariah was the fourth generation which had been 
promised to Jeliu, and with him the line of Jehu comes to an end 
(ver. 12). This destruction had been strikingly foretold by the prophet 
Amos (vii. 9). 'Before the people' apparently means that Shallum's 
rebellion was quite an open one, and had popular support. 


Shallum, and liis conspiracy which he made, behold, they 
are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of 
Israel. 16. Then Menahem smote Tiphsah, and all that 
ivere therein, and the coasts thereof from Tirzah : because 
they opened not to him, therefore he smote it ; and all the 
women therein that were with child he ripped up. 17. In 
the nine and thirtieth year of Azariah king of Judah began 
Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel, and reigned 
ten years in Samaria. 1 8. And he did that which was evil 
in the sight of the Lord : he dej)arted not all his days 
from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made 
Israel to sin. 19. And Pul the king of Assyria came 
against the land : and Menahem gave Pul a thousand 
talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to con- 
firm the kingdom in his hand. 20. And Menahem exacted 
the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, 
of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of 
Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and stayed 
not there in the land. 21. And the rest of the acts of 
Menahem, and all that he did, are they not written in the 

16. Tiphsali. Probably some unknown place near Tirzah. The only 
other mention of a Tiphsah in the Bible is in 1 Kings iv. 24, where it means 
Thapsacus on the Euphrates. But this can hardly be the place that 
Menahem ' smote. ' 

19. Pul the king of Assyria. Tliis is apparently the same person as 
Tiglath-pileser ii. It is interesting to note this first appearance of 
Assyria, which now takes the place of Syria, as the threatening power on 
the eastern frontier. Hosea specially warns Israel against alliances with 
Assyria (see v. 13 ; vii. 11 ; viii. 9 ; xi. 5 ; xiv. 3), and predicts, what 
actually came to pass, the ultimate destruction of the northern kingdom 
by those wliom they were eager to make allies. 

A thousand talents of silver. This is equivalent at least to nearly 
half a million of our money, an enormous sum to pay as tribute to the 
Assyrian for his alliance and protection. That it was paid shows both 
the wealth and the lack of national spirit in the northern kingdom, 
and illustrates the pictures drawn by the contemporar}' prophets Hosea 
and Amos. While Amos speaks of the ivory palaces, the vineyards, and 
the revellings of the rich, Hosea compares Israel to a ' silly dove without 
understanding" (vii. 11) fluttering aimlessly between Egypt and Assyria. 
Lack of confidence in God had produced a lack of confidence in self. 

20. Fifty shekels of silver — i.e. the sixtieth part of a talent : hence 
there were 60,000 rich men on whom this tax was levied. 


2 KINGS XV. 8-31 

2 castle. 

3 and with 
him were fifty 
men of the 

book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel ? 22. And Mena- 
hem slept with his fathers ; and Pekahiah his son reigned 
in his stead. 23. In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of 
Judah Pekahiah the son of IMenahem began to reign over 
Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years. 24. And he did 
that which iras evil in the sight of the Lord : he departed 
not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made 
Israel to sin. 25. But Pekah the son of Eemaliah, a 
captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in 
Samaria, in the ^ palace of the king's house, Argob and 
Arieh, ^ and with him fifty men of the Gileadites : and 
he killed him, and reigned in his room. 26. And the rest 
of the acts of Pekahiah, and all that he did, behold, they 
are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of 
Israel. 27. In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king 
of Judah Pekah the son of Eemaliah began to reign over 
Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years. 28. And 
he did that which vris evil in the sight of the Loed : he 
dej)arted not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, 
who made Israel to sin. 29. In the days of Pekah king 
of Israel came Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and took 
Ijon, and Abel-beth-maachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, 
and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naph- 
tali, and carried them captive to Assyria. 30. And Hosea 

25. Argob and Arieh — probably the only two of the king's court who 
remained faithful to him ; thu ' fifty men of tlie Gileadites' mentioned in 
this verse were the followers of Pekah, not the guard of Pekahiah, as the 
punctuation of the Autliorised Version seems to suggest. 

27. Pekah the son of Remaliah. A powerful and warlike king who 
distinguished himself by his attack on the southern kingdom, in com- 
pany with Pvezin of Syria (xvi, 5 and Isa. vii,). Although this invasion 
was ultimatel}' unsuccessful, Pekah inflicted great loss on Ahaz. See 
2 Chron. xxviii. 

29. Galilee, all the land of Naphtali. With the exception of Gilead, 
all the places mentioned here, as far as known, are in the territory of 
Naphtali, wliich would be the first district to succumb to an invader 
from the north. Kedesh was one of the cities of refuge ; Hazor, the 
capital of Jabin, was afterwards one of the frontier strongholds of 
Solomon (I Kings ix. 15). Galilee, afterwards the name of the whole 
district north of Samaria, M'as at this time limited in its application to the 
country round Kedesh. It is to this disaster of the tribe of Naphtali 



the son of Elali made a conspiracy against Pekah the son 

of Eemaliah, and *^ smote him, and slew him, and reisned in e Hos. x. 3, 7, 


his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of 
Uzziah. 31. And the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all 
that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the 
chronicles of the kings of Israel. 

2 CHRON. XXVII. 1. Jotham was twenty and five years 
old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years 
in Jerusalem. His mother's name also ivas Jerushah, the 
daughter of Zadok. 2. And he did that ivhich ivas right 
in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father 
Uzziah did : howbeit he entered not into the temple of the 
Lord. And the people did yet corruptly. 3. He built 
the high gate of the house of the Lord, and on the wall of 
Ophel he built much. 4. Moreover he built cities in the 

* mountains of Judah, and in the forests he built castles '^ hill-country 

and towers. 5. He fought also with the king of the Am- 
monites, and prevailed against them. And the children of 
Ammon gave him the same year an hundred talents of 
silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thou- 
sand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon pay 
unto him, both the second year, and the third. 6. So 
Jotham became mighty, because he ^prepared his ways 5 ordered. 
before the Lord his God. 7. Now the rest of the acts of 
Jotham, and all his wars, and his ways, lo, they are written 
in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. 8. He was five 
and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned 

that Isaiah alludes in the famous opening of chap. ix. These sufferings 
of Israel at the hand of their enemies will find, he says, their true and 
final relief in the birth of Messiah. 

2 Chrox. xxvir. 2. And the people did yet corruptly — i.e. the people 
sacrificed in ' the high places ' ; carrying on the corrupt and irregular 
Jehovah-worship of their fathers. 

8. The wall of Ophel. The southern slope of the Temple hill going 
down to the vallej- of Hinnom. Manasseh also fortified this part of the 

5. He fought also with the king- of the Ammonites — following up the 
conquests of Uzziah (xxvi. 8). 

264 2 CHRON. XXVIII. 8-15 

sixteen years in Jerusalem. 9. And Jotham slept with 
his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David : and 
Ahaz his son reigned in his stead. 

2 KINGS XVI. 1-5. In the seventeenth year of Pekah 
the son of Remaliah Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah 
began to reign. 2. Twenty years old ivas Ahaz when he 
began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, 
and did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord 
his God, like David his father. 3. But he walked in the 
/ Lev. xviii. 21. way of the kings of Israel, yea, and •''made his son to j)ass 
through the fire, according to the abominations of the 
heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children 
of Israel. 4. And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the 
high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree. 
5. Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah 
king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war : and they 
besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome hwi. 

2 CHRON. XXVIII. 8-15. And the children of Israel 
carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thou- 
sand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away 
much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria. 
9. But a prophet of the Lord was there, whose name was 
Oded : and he went out before the host that came to 
Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, because the Lord 

2 Kings xvi. 3. Yea, and made his son to pass througli the fire. This 
cruel and unnatural worship of the Ammonite god Moloch is repeatedly 
mentioned with horror in Holy Scripture. Little is definitely known 
about this sacrifice of children, but it is clear that they were actually 
burnt, though perhai)s not burnt alive. Milton's description embodie*^5 
the traditional idea of the Moloch-worship, that the children were placed 
on the red-iiot arms of the idol, and their cries drowned with savage 
music — 

'First, Moloch, horrid kiiij,', Ix'smearcd with blood 

Of huiiiiui sacridce, and jKirents' tears ; 

Though, for the noise of drums and timbrels loud, 

Their children's cries unheard that passed through fire 

To his grim idol.' 

5. Rezin king of Syria. Syria was now tributary to Assyria. Perhaps 
Rezin's idea of alliance with Israel and invasion of Judah was to free 
himself again from the Assyrian yoke. His ^attacks on Jerusalem had 
begun in the previous reign (xv. 37). 


God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he hath 
delivered them into your hand, and ye have shxin them 
in a rage that reacheth up unto heaven. 10. And now ye 
purjDose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem 
for bondmen and bondwomen unto you : hit are there not 
with you, even with you, sins against the Lord your God ? 
11. Now hear me therefore, and deliver the captives again, 
which ye have taken captive of your brethren : for the 
fierce wrath of the Lord is upon you. 12. Then certain 
of the heads of the children of Ej^hraim, Azariah the son 
of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and 
Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of 
Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war, 
13. And said unto them. Ye shall not bring in the captives 
hither: ^for whereas we have offended against the Lord e for ye purpose 
already^ ye intend to add more to our sins and to our bring upon us a 
trespass : for our trespass is great, and there is fierce the'^ LoRDt^^to 
wrath against Israel. 14. So the armed men left the ^j*^;^,, unto' our 
captives and the spoil before the princes and all the con- 
gregation. 15. And the men which "were ^ expressed by 7 have been. 
name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil 
clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed 
them, and shod them, and '' gave them to eat and to drink, h 2 Kings vi. 22. 
and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them 

2 Chron. XXVIII. 9. A rage that reacheth up unto heaven — i.e. a rage 
which is so excessive that it has, as it were, forced itself upon the notice 
of God Himself. Cf.— 

' O, my offence is rank ; it smells to lieaven ; 
It hath the primal eldest curse upon't, 
A brother's murder.' 

Hamlet, iii. 3. 

13. Ye shall not bring in the captives hither. This is one of the most 
remarkable instances in the Bible of a national repentance. Its results 
were short-lived, but it showed there was still both a consciousness of 
sin and some human sympathy among the people of the northern kingdom, 
as well as a feeling that the reducing of the captives to slavery was con- 
trary to the spirit of the Law of Moses. 

It is also to be noticed that it is the Chronicler only who mentions this 
incident, although it is sometimes said that he is hostile to the northern 
kingdom, and usuall}' represents it in the worst light. 

26G 2 KINGS XVI. 6-20 

i Deut. xxxiv, upon asses, and brought them to Jericho, Hhe city of jjahu 
trees, to their brethren : then they returned to Samaria. 
2 KINGS XVI. 6-20. At that time Rezin king of Syria 

j chap. xiv. 22. recovered -^ Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: 
and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this 
day. 7. So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king 
of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son : come 
up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and 
out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against 
me. 8. And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found 
in the house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king-'s 
house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria. 
9. And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him : for the 
king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, 

k Amos i. 5 ; and ^ carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew 
Eezin. 10. And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet 
Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that ivas 

I Isa. viii. 2. at Damascus : and king Ahaz sent to ' Urijah the priest 
the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to 
all the workmanship thereof. 11. And Urijah the priest 
built an altar according to all that King Ahaz had sent 
from Damascus : so Urijah the priest made it against king 
Ahaz came from Damascus. 12. And when the king was 

2 Kings xvi. 7. So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser. Ahaz, 
according to 2 Chron. xxviii., Avas also beset by old etieniies on the south 
and west — the Edomites and the Philistines. This alliance with Assyria 
was denounced by Lsaiah, and as he foresaw resulted in Judah itself being 
soon after attacked by Assyria. Cf . Isa. viii. 7, 8. 

9. The king of Assyria went up against Damascus. Tiiis is tlie end of 
the once formidable power of Syria. The captivity of Sj'ria took place 
in the year 732, and left the northern kingdom face to face with Assyria. 

10. An altar that was at Damascus. This was evidently a larger and 
more magnificeut altar even tlian Solomon's brazen altar (see ver. 15). 
It must have l)een an altar to tlie SA'rian god Rimmon, though it appears 
from this account that tlie copy made of it Avas used for the worship of 
Jehovah. According to Chronicles, Ahaz had, previously to this, 'sacri- 
ficed unto the gods of Damascus which smote him,' in the hope of gaining 
them over to his side. This new altar is not mentioned in Chronicles, 
and the sin of making it lay not in any idolatry connected with it, but 
in the contempt shown for the ancient style of worship which had been 
revealed by God Himself. 


come from Damascus, the king saw the altar : and the 
king ^ aiDproachecl to the altar, and offered thereon. 1 3. « drew near 
And he burnt his burnt offering and his '-^meat offering, and 9 meal offering. 
poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his 
peace offerings, upon the altar. 14. And he brought also 
the brasen altar, which luas before the Lord, from the fore- 
front of the house, from between ^'^ the altar and the house ^" ^ii«- 
of the Lord, and put it on the north side of ^'^the altar. 
15. And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying. 
Upon the great altar burn '" the morning burnt offering ''"_, ^,^°'^' ^^'^• 
and the evening meat offering, and the king's burnt sacrifice, 
and his meat offering, with the burnt offering of all the 
people of the land, and their meat offering, and their drink 
offerings ; and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt 
offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice : and the Ijrasen 
altar shall be for me to enquire hy. 16. Thus did Urijah 
the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded. 
17. And king Ahaz cut off the borders of "the bases, and n i Kings vii. 
removed the laver from off them ; and took down " the sea 
from off the brasen oxen that ivere under it, and put it upon 
a pavement of stones. 18. And the ^^ covert for the sabbath ii covered way. 
that they had built in the house, and the king's entry with- 
out, turned he from the house of the Lord ^'^ for the king 12 because of. 
of Assyria. 19. Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he 

15. The brazen altar shall be for me to enquire by. There is some 
doubt as to the exact meaning of this phrase. It might mean either that 
Ahaz intended to use the old altar for purposes of divination ; or else 
that he had not yet decided what to do with it. The latter meaning is 
perhaps the more likely. 

18. The covert for the sabbath, evidently some covered way or cloister 
for the convenience of the worshippers or of the king himself on the 

The king's entry is also unknown, unless it be the same as the ' ascent ' 
mentioned in 2 Chron. ix. 4. 

The king- of Assyria. It is cpiite uncertain what changes were made 
l\v Ahaz, or Avhat the king of Assyria had to do with them. The 
favourite supposition seems to be that Ahaz dismantled various parts of 
the Temple of their decorations, either to raise tribute for the king of 
Assyria or to keep them from being annexed by him, or perhaps in order 
to approximate the Temple arrangements to some foreign idolatry. 

19. Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz. Ahaz is held up by the Chronicler 

168 ISAIAH VII. 1-14 

did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of 
the kings of Jiidah ? 20. And Ahaz slept with his fathers, 
and was buried with his fathers in the city of David : and 
Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead. 

ISAIAH VII. 1-14. And it came to jDass in the days of 
Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, 
that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of 
Eemaliah, king .of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war 
against it, but could not prevail against it. 2. And it 
was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate 
with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart 
of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the 
wind. 3. Then said the Lord unto Isaiah, Go forth now 
o^chap. viii. 3, to meet Ahaz, thou, and -' Shear-jashub thy son, at the end 
of the conduit of the upjDer pool in the highway of the 
fuller's field ; 4. And say unto him. Take heed, and be 


as an example of one whom trouble drove further from God instead of 
leading him to repentance (2 Chron. xxviii. 22). He was evidentl}' a 
prey to superstitions, and offered worship to every sort of divinity mIioui 
he thought likely to help him. He is said to have ' made him altars in 
every corner of Jerusalem,' and high places 'in every several city of 

Isaiah vii. This chapter is intimately connected with the history of 
the monarchy, and throws light upon the Divine purpose which under- 
lies that history, and wliich made both the idolatry of Ahaz, the terrors 
of his people, and the desire of foreign alliances in a unique sense dis- 
pleasing to God. 

3. Shear-jashub. This name liad evidently been given by Isaiah to his 
son for a prophetic purpose. It means ' a remnant shall return,' and 
thus expresses one of the leading ideas in the prophetic work of Isaiah 
(cf. vi. 13), viz., that only a small minority of the chosen nation would 
retain faith and so survive calamity, but that this minority would never 
fail. It would be as it Mere ' the soul of the Church.' 

The conduit of the upper pool. Many conjectures have been made as 
to where and what this was. It was near the wall, for there Kabshakeh 
delivered his message in Hezekiah's time. It seems from Isa. xxii. 9 
that Ahaz had given greater attention t(j the storage of water in case of 
siege than he had given to what was more important, national riglit- 
eousness and faith in God's j)romise. Hence there would be a si»ecial 
appropriateness in Isaiah meeting him beside the conduit of one of liis 


quiet ; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails 
of these smoking hrebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin 
13 with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah, 5. Because Syria, is and. 
Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel 
against thee, saying, 6. Let us go up against Judah, and 
vex it, and let us raake a breach therein for us, and set a 
king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal : 7. Thus 
saith the Lord God, It shall not stand, neither shall it 
come to pass. 8. For the head of Syria is Damascus, and 
the head of Damascus is Rezin ; and within threescore 
and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a 
people. 9. And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the 
head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will not believe, 
surely ye shall not be established. 10. ISIoreover the 
Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 11. Ask thee a sign 
of the Lord thy God ; ask it either in the depth, or in the 

4. The two tails of these smoking firebra,nds. A contemptuous phrase, 
implying that the ' two firebrands ' were nearly extinguished ; this attack 
on Jerusalem was the last smoke, as it were, of the burnt-out brands. 

6. The son of Taheal. Nothing is known of this person. He was pro- 
babl}' a vSyrian, and was intended b}^ the invaders to be a puppet-king of 
Judah, who Avould be subservient to themselves. 

8. For the head of Syria is Damascus. This, as well as the similar 
phrases in verses 8 and 9, seems to mean that these kingdoms which seem 
so terrible are only governed by 7ne?i, whereas Judah's real king is the 
Lord of Hosts. 

Within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken. It is difii- 
cuh to know to w hat this refers. Ephraim was carried into captivity by 
Assyria some twelve or fifteen years after this date. It has been sug- 
gested that the sixty-five years extend to the recolonisation of Samaria 
by Esar-haddon. 

9. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established. ' The 
words mark an ep(>ch in the histor}' of revelation ; never before probably 
had the distinctively religious principle of faith been so plainly exhibited 
as the touchstone of character and destiny ' {Cambridge Bible). 

11. Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God. God here offers through His 
prophet what Christ afterwards refused to perform for the Jews, a 'sign,' 
that is some notable miracle, either on earth or in the sky, no limits of 
possibilit}' being assigned. Ahaz showed as much unbelief in refusing 
to take God at His word at such a crisis as the Jews showed in the opposite 
way of refusing to believe without 'signs.' Moreover, he cloaked his 
unbelief under a pretence of reverence. He did not wish to * tempt the 

70 ISAIAH VII. 1-14 

height above. 12. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither 

will I tempt the Lord. 13. And he said, Hear ye now, 

house of David ; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, 

but will ye weary my God also ? 14. Therefore the Lord 

s ^Lufe^f 31^^ ' hi'^self shall give you a sign ; Behold, ^ a virgin shall con- 

q chap. viii. 8, ceive and bear a son, and shall call his name « Immanuel. 
10. ' 

Lord,' to press matters to such a definite issue. But he ' tempted' God 
much more by refusing what God Himself offered. 

14. Behold, a virgin shall conceive. This prophecy is definitely stated 
by S. Matthew (i. 22, 2.3) to refer to the birth of Jesus Christ of the 
Virgin Mary. And so it has been unanimously understood iu the Chris- 
tian Church. Even the Jews interpreted it of the Messiah, until Chris- 
tianity compelled their unbelief to discover some other explanation of it. 

The only difficulty in the passage is to decide (which is impossible) 
whether Isaiah had in his mind any preliminary fulfilment, such as the 
birth of a son to Ahaz or to himself. It has been thought that some such 
meaning is required by the prediction in ver. 16 that the destruction of 
Syria and Ephraim will come during the early years of this child's life. 
The excursus at the end of chap. vii. in the Cambridge Bible may be con- 
sulted, where the conclusion is that Isaiah definitely meant the personal 
Messiah, whom at this moment God revealed to him. 

The unbelief of Ahaz caused the sign which was given to him to be 
something which only faith could grasp ; not anything in his own tin)e 
or circumstances, but an event which time would disclose. Cf. S. Matthew 
xii. 39, 40, where the 'sign' given to unbelief was something in the far- 
distant past : here it is in the far-distant future. 

The birth of Christ was the sign which would for ever vindicate to 
those who believed, that which Ahaz doubted, the certainty of the Divine 
promises to Israel. 

And shall call Ms name Immanuel. It is the Virgin herself who gives 
the name, as in 8. Luke i. 31, and probably in S. Matthew i. 25. She 
being His only earthly parent would liave the first right to name her 
Son. Immanuel = 'with us is God,' another characteristic doctrine of 
Isaiah's. God's people and the house of David cannot fail, whatever 
enemies come against them, for the presence of God Himself is in 
the midst of them. And this will be finally made manifest in the 



Ahaz and Isaiah 


1. A king without faith. 

Ahaz was by no meaus without 
religion as it was understood by 
the contemporary heathen world. 
Rather he adopted all the religi- 
ous practices of the surrounding 
nations, including degrading idola- 
try, nature-worship, and cruel 

But he seems deliberately to have 
abandoned all that the throne of 
David was bound to maintain, the 
exclusive right of Jehovah to obe- 
dience and worship. Without 
abandoning belief in Jehovah, he 
evidently considered him as merely 
a tribal god, inferior probably to 
the gods of the stronger nations 
around. By the help of an apostate 
priest he adopted the Assyrian 
mode of worship, partly perhaps in 
compliment to his new ally, and 
partly because he thought the 
Divinely ordained worsliip of the 
Temple out of date ; it required, 
he thought, to be modified or supple- 
mented by ideas drawn from other 

Consequently we find him with- 
out faith in the Divine promises to 
the house of David, terrided bj- the 
attack of Israel and Syria, and 
ready to seek for alliance with a 
heathen power, and, under a show 
of humility, refusing to accept a 
sign of Jehovah's power which the 
prophet bade him ask for. 

2. The sign to the faithful. 

The prophet Isaiah stands forth 
at the crisis as the champion of the 
Divine promises. Jehovah, ' the 
Holy One of Israel,' is the only true 
strength of the nation. Trust in 
Him, obedience to His law will 
bring Israel safely through all that 

1. 'I am the Lord thy God.' 
Show that disbelief in this, the 
foundation truth of religion, lay 
at the root of Ahaz's sins — 

(1) His disregard of the first two 


(2) His vain superstitions (when 

men lose faith in the one 
true God they generally 
take refuge in false religions 
and superstitions ; e.g. in 
modern days 'spiritualism,' 
' fortune-telling, ' etc. , etc. ). 

(3) His fear, and disbelief in the 

promise of God to David. 
Refer to 2 Sam. vii, 10-16. 

(4) His foolish alliance with a 

cruel and unscrupulous 
heathen power. 

2. The prophet Isaiah gave a 
sign, i.e. announced a coming event 
which would prove the truth of 
what God had promised. 

It was a sign without meaning to 
Ahaz, because he did not wish to 
learn ; but a sign which was under- 



Lesson XXX—contimied. Ahaz and Isaiah 

threatens. The doom of the enemies 
of Jerusalem is already close at 
hand. When the king practically 
refuses to listen, the prophet gives 
his great 'sign,' which though un- 
explained at the time, would be- 
come in the future ages the great 
evidence of the faithfulness of God. 
At the api)ointed time One would 
be born of a Virgin, who in His 
own Person would vindicate the 
promises made to David, for He 
would be Himself Immanuel, ' God 
with us.' 

Ahaz had disbelieved that God 
was with His people, and had taken 
refuge with the false gods of the 
heatlien. The faithful remnant 
would in the end see that God was 
true, they would see the eternal 
kingdom of David established, and 
of this the Virgin -birth would be 
the sign. 


stood by the faithful, and which the 
Church understands. 

The Virgin was the Blessed Virgin 
Mary, born some seven hundred 
years after. The son was the Lord 
Jesus Christ, who was the true Son 
of David foretold in 2 Sam. vii., 
and also Son of God ; and therefore 
called Immanuel. 
Refer to— 

Gen. iii. 15. 

S. Matt. i. 18-25. 

S. Luke i. 30-33, 54-55, 69-70. 

Gal. iv. 4. 

Rev. xii. 

Hymns A . and M. 409. 

Blackboard Sketch. 

Ahaz and Isaiah. 

1. A king without faith. 

Disbelieved in God, 

,, in God's promises ; 

Therefore idolatrous, 

,, terrified of enemies, 

,, trusted in the heathen 

instead of God. 

2. TJie siijn to the faithful , given by Isaiah. 

A proof that God keeps His promise. 

The Virgin, . . . . S. Mary. 

The Son of the Virgin, Jesus Christ, 
Son of David, 
Son of God, 
Immanuel = 
' God with us. 



IN the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea 
the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine 
years. 2. And he did that which was evil in the 
sight of the Lord, but not as the kings of Israel that were 
before him. 3. Against him came up «Shalmaneser king of a Hosea x. 14. 
Assyria : and Hoshea became his servant, and gave him 
j)resents. 4. And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in 
Hoshea : for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, 
and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as he had 
done year by year : therefore the king of Assyria shut him 
up, and bound him in prison. 5. Then the king of Assyria 
came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, 
and besieged it three years. 6. In the ninth year of Hoshea 
^the king of Assyria took Samaria, and '^carried Israel aw^ay b Hosea xiii. 16, 
into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by 9-i2tLev^xxvi. 
the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. 7. For ^'''^- ''''-^''^"• 

3. Shalmaneser — The successor of Tiglath-Pileser ; reigned 727-722 B.C. 

4. He had sent messengers to So king of Egypt. This Pharaoh appears 
under dififerent names in secular history. He is probably the same as 
Sabaco, or Shebetek, a king of the 25th dynast}^ 

The futile fascination of an alliance w ith Egypt is a remarkable feature 
of the historj^ of Israel. Both in the northern and southern kingdoms the 
prophets warn against it. See the remarkable description of Egypt in 
Isaiah xxx. 1-7. In this case the only result apparently of the overtures 
to Egypt Avas to rouse the suspicions of Assyria, and hasten the overthrow 
of Hoshea. 

G. The king of Assyria took Samaria. This was in the year 722, and 
A\'as accomplished b}- Sargon, the successor of Shalmaneser. 

Placed them in Halah and in Habor. This district is north Mesopo- 
tamia, north-east of Palestine, a distance of 400 or 500 miles. 'Habor' 
is probabl}' the nKjderu river Khabour. From this place of exile the ten 
tribes never, as a body, returned. 

The features of the district are thus described in Smith's Dictionary of 
the Bible : ' In early spring a tender and luxuriant herbage covers the 
whole plain, w-hile tlowers of the most brilliant hues spring up in rapid 
succession, imparting their colour to the landscape, M-liich changes from 
daj' to day. As the summer draws on, the verdure recedes towards the 
streams and mountains. Vast tracts of arid plain, j'ellow, parched, and 




d Lev. xviii. 
Deut. xviii. 

1 pillars and 

SO it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the 
Lord their God, which had brought them up out of the 
land of Egypt, from nnder the hand of Pharaoh king of 
Egypt, and had feared other gods, 8. And walked in ^the 
statutes of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from 
before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, 
which they had made. 9. And the children of Israel did 
secretly those things that ivere not right against the Lord 
their God, and they built them high places in all their 
cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. 
10. And they set them up ^ images and groves in every 
high hill, and under every green tree : 11. And there they 
burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen 
whom the Lord carried away before them ; and wrought 
wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger : 12. For they 
served idols, whereof the Lord had said unto them. Ye 
shall not do this thing. 13. Yet the Lord testified against 
Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all 
the seers, saying. Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep 
my commandments and my statutes, according to all the 
law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to 
you by my servants the prophets. 14. Notwithstanding 
they would not hoar, but hardened their necks, like to the 
neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their 

sapless, fill the intermediate space, which ultimately becomes a bare and 
uninhabitable desert.' 

8. Walked in the statutes of the heathen. The larger part of this 
summary of the sins of tlie ten tribes is devoted to their adoption of the 
superstitions and sacred places of the Canaanites. The revelation of God 
at Sinai had not taken such hold on the conscience of Israel as to enable 
them to resist these fascinations of an older civilisation. Indeed, the 
relics of Canaanite worship were much more in accordance with their own 
tastes than the purer religion which had been taught them through Moses. 
A further declension is described in ver. 16 — the making of the golden 
calves, and the deliberate adoption of foreign worships from Phcenicia 
and Assyria. 

9. From the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city — i.e. in the wil- 
derness and the cities alike. ' The toAver of the watchman ' was the isolated 
tower, for defence or shelter, which would be built in the pastoral regions 
at a distance from the towns. 


God. 15. And they rejected his statutes, and ''his covenant c Exod. xxiv. 
that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which x'xix'. 25. 
he testified against them ; and they followed vanity, and 
hecame vain, and went after the heathen that were round 
about them, concerning whom -^tlie Lord had charged them, / Dent. xii. 30, 
that they should not do like them. 16. And they left all " 
the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them, 
molten images, even two calves, and made ^ a grove, and 2 an Asherah. 
worshipped all ^the host of heaven, and served Baal. 17. g Deut. iv. 19. 
And ^they caused their sons and their daughters to pass hLev. xviii. 21. 
through the fire, and used * divination and enchantments, i Deut. xviii. 
and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to ^'^' 
provoke him to anger. 18. Therefore the Lord was very 
angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight : 
there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. 19. Also 
Judah kept not the commandments of the Lord their God, 
but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. 
20. And the Lord rejected all the seed of Israel, and 
afilicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, 
until he had cast them out of his sight. 21. For he rent 
Israel from the house of David ; and they made Jeroboam 
the son of Nebat king : and Jeroboam drave Israel from 
following the Lord, and made them sin a great sin. 22. 
For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jero- 
boam which he did ; they departed not from them ; 23. 
Until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had 
said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried 
away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day. 24. 
-'And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and j Ezra iv. 2-10.' 

15. His covenant that he made with their fathers— ^■.e. the covenant at 
Sinai, when the Law was given ; Israel disregarded both the two great 
bi-anehes of revelation, the permanent Law and the successive prophets. 

24. And the king of Assyria brought men. This account of the re- 
peopling of Samaria is interesting, as it sliows the origin of the later 
* Samaritans,' and suggests the reasons wh^- they Mere not allowed to 
take part in the rebuilding of the Temple (Ezra iv. ), and Mhy the later 
Jews had no dealings with them (S. John iv. 9). Though there is no 
break in the narrative, these new settlers were not introduced for some 
years, and apparently not by Shalmaneser, but his grandson Esar-haddon. 

27r, 2 KINGS XVII. 

from Cuthali, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from 
Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria 
instead of the chiklren of Israel : and they possessed 
Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof. 25. And so it 
was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they 
feared not the Lord : therefore the Lord sent lions among 
them, which slew some of them. 26. Wherefore they spake 
to the king of Assyria, saying. The nations which thou 
hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know 
not the manner of the God of the land : therefore he hath 
sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because 
they know not the manner of the God of the land. 27. 
Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying. Carry thither 
one of the priests whom ye brought from thence ; and let 
them go and dwell there, and let him teach tljem the 
manner of the God of the land. 28. Then one of the priests 
whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dAvelt 
in Beth-el, and taught them how they should fear the Lord. 
29. Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put 
them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans 
had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt. 

25. They feared not the LORD. Here and elsewhere in the chapter 
this phrase does not imph^ any particular religious devotion or the lack 
of it, but simply an ignorance of Jehovah-worship. The newcomers 
evidentl}' regarded Jehovah as the local god of tlieir new home ; but they 
liad no knowledge of the particular rites by which He was to be wor- 
shipped, nor at first any particular desire to know. And it is evident 
that their ' fear ' of Jehovah did not at any time go further than a mere 
external worship with the idea of propitiating His wrath. - 

28. Taught them how they should fear the LORD. It is impossible to 
say to M'hat extent this priest taught the Samaritans. There is no allusion 
to 'calf-worship' at Bethel in later history, though we should naturally 
imagine that a priest settling at Bethel would restore the old idolatry. 
At any rate, no teaching of a ver}^ severe or exclusive character could 
have been given, as the next verses show that each nation among the 
settlers introduced their own gods side by side with Jehovah. 

The later Samaritans (who exist to this day), were not idolaters, but 
recognised the Books of Moses, of which they"^ possessed an independent 
text, had a high priest of their own, and practised a worship similar to 
that of Israel. An opposition temple was founded on Mount Gerizim by 
Manasseh, who was expelled from Jerusalem hy Nehemiah in 409 B.C. 


30. And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and 
the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath 
made Ashima, 31. And the Avites made Nibhaz and 
Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to 
Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 

32. So they' feared the Lord, and made unto themselves ^ of * from among 

r> 1 1 • 1 1 1-1 • themselves. 

the lowest ot them priests oi the high piaces, which sacri- 
ficed for them in the houses of the high places. 33. They 
feared the Lord, and served their own gods, after the 

manner of the nations *whom they carried away from thence. ■* from among 

TT 1 • 1 1 T r 1 /• whom they had 

34. Unto this day they do after the former manners : they been carried 

fear not the Lord, neither do they after their statutes, or 

after their ordinances, or after the law and commandment 

which the Lord commanded the children of Jacob, whom 

he named Israel ; 35. With whom the Lord had made a 

covenant, and charged them, saying, ^ Ye shall not fear k Judges vi. lo. 

other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor 

sacrifice to them : 36. But the Lord, who brought you up 

out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched 

out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and 

to him shall ye do sacrifice. 37. And the statutes, and the 

ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he 

wrote for you, ' ye shall observe to do for evermore : and i Deut. v. 32. 

ye shall not fear other gods. 38. And the covenant that 

30. Succoth-benoth. Probably a female divinity ; the wife of 

Nergal. A well-known Assyrian god ; probably lion-headed, and the 
divinity of war. 

AsMma. Unknown ; but, according to JcAvisli tradition, worshipped 
under the form of a goat. 

31. Nibhaz. Also unknown ; perhaps dog-headed. 

Tartak. According to Jewish tradition, an ass-headed divinity. 

Adrammelecli and Anammelecli. The male and female divinities of 
Smi-wor.sliip. Sepharvaim was a city noted for this form of idolatry. It 
is Sippara on the Euphrates. 

35. Ye shall not fear other gods. This passage is not a quotation from 
the Law, but a suinnuiry of its teaching in the words of the writer, very 
much in the style of Deuteronomy. 



m Deut. iv. 23. I have made with you "' ye shall not forget ; neither shall 
ye fear other gods. 39. But the Lord your God ye shall 
fear ; and lie shall deliver you out of the hand of all your 
enemies. 40. Howbeit they did not hearken, but they did 
after their former manner. 41. So these nations feared 
the Lord, and served their graven images, both their chil- 
dren, and their children's children : as did their fathers, so 
do they unto this day. 

41. So do they unto this day. This, like other statements of the same 
kind, was ap}>arently copied exactly from the earlier documents which 
the compiler of Kings made use of. The actual compilation, as we have 
it now, was probably made just about tlie time of the return of Judah 
from Babylon. But by this time the Samaritans must have ceased to 
be idolaters. 

The Captivity of Israel 

Part I 


1. The patience of God. 

The history of the tun northern 
tribes, which hero comes to an end, 
is a remarkable illustration of God's 
patience. In spite of the continued 
idolatr}' and obstinacy of the north- 
ern kingdom, it was the constant 
field of the activity of p7'ophets, 
e.g. Ahijah, Elijah, Elisha, Jonah, 
and many others who are imnamed. 
Two others also have left written 
books addressed to the northern 
tribes — Amos, who was a prophet 
from Judah, sent by God to l)ear 
witness at Bethel itself, and Hosea, 
who spent apparently a long life 
warning his fellow-countrymen in 

Ahijah (1 Kings xiv. 15), Amos 
(v. 27), Hosea (ix. 3, etc.), all 
distinctly warned of the coming 
Captivity, unless it were averted by 
national repentance. 


1. This may profitably be made 
a lesson of recapitulation. 

Recall circumstances of the schism 
of the ten tribes. 

Summarise the work of the ;9ro- 
jyhets, and the sins against which 
they contended. 

Show that the ten tribes had the 
ligJtt of l)oth the Law (Hosea viii. 
12) and the prophets : warnings of 
what their sin Avould lead to, and 
time — 250 years — for repentance. 
All these were proofs of God's mercy 
and patience. 

Illustrate by Gen. xv. 16 ; S. Luke 
xiii. 6-9. 



Lesson XXXI — contimied. The Captivity of Israel 


The national sinswhichultimately 
brought ruin were chiefly : — 

( 1 ) Self --willed alienation from the 
authorised worship in Jerusalem. 

(2) The worship of the golden 
calves (Hosea viii. 5, 6, etc. ). 

(3) Worship of false gods, Baalim, 
Asherim, the heavenly bodies, etc. 
(see Hosea iv. 12, 13; viii. 11, 14, 
etc. ). 

(4) Violence, bloodshed, and fail- 
ure of justice (Hosea iv. 1, 2, etc.). 

(5) Drunkenness and self-com- 
placent luxur}' (Amos vi., etc.). 

(6) Disobedience to prophets. 
The wrath of God Avas clearly 

manifested in decay and corruption 
of the national life, and powerless- 
ness in the face of SA'ria, and after- 
wards Assyria. 

2. The end of patience. 

The end of the national existence 
of the ten tribes came with the fall 
of Samaria, which followed soon 
upon that of Damascus, as Isaiah had 
foretold ( vii. ). And though isolated 
members of the ten tribes formed 
part after wards of the Jewish nation, 
these tribes, as a whole, never re- 
turned from Captivity. They had 
separated themselves from the 
throne of David and the true priest- 
hood, to which the promises were 
given ; and having rejected God's 
offers of mercy by His prophets, 
their judgment, when it came, was 


2. Describe the circumstances of 
the Captivity, and the place to 
which the ten tribes were carried. 

Point out that God's mercy and 
long-suffering are always repre- 
sented in the Bible as not lasting 
for ever. The teacher may take the 
opportunity of warning against the 
false conception of God's mercy as 
an easy sort of good-nature. Cf. 
Ps. 1. 21. 

God's mercy is actuated by joitr- 
j)ose, and when men, by obstinate 
refusal to repent, render that pur- 
pose vain, it must be worked out in 
another way, for God is Almighty — 
i.e. by judgment. 



Lesson XXXI— continued. The Captivity of Israel 
Blackboard Sketch. 

The Captivity of Israel. 

1. Israel or Ephraim, the ten northern tribes; 

capital Samaria. 
Forsook the rightful king. 

,, ,, true priesthood. 
Worshipped golden calves and other idols. 
Disobeyed God's Law. 
Refused to hear God's prophets. 

2. God^s patience. 

He gave them many prophets — Ahijah, 

Elijah, Elisha, Amos, Hosea. 
He gave them a long time for repentance. 

3. The end of patience. 

Those who will not have God's mercy must 

find His judgment. 
The ten tribes were carried captive to 

Never returned. 

' From hardness of heart and contempt of Thy 

Word and Commandment, good Lord 

deliver us.' 

Part II — The Samaritans 


L The new settlers in Palestine. 

Nothing could show more clearly 
the hopelessness of the Captivity of 
the northern kingdom than this 
introduction of new heathen settlers 
into the land which God had given 
by covenant, and which Joshua had 


1. Describe the settling of the 
Samaritans. What a warning it 
ought to have been to their neigh- 
bours in Judah and Jerusalem. 

Explain their false ideas of God. 
Yet they had some desire to b<; 



Lesson XXXl—conti7iued. The Captivity of Israel 


apportioned. It was a visible proof 
that C4od had given their heritage 
to others. 

These people ' feared not the 
Lord' — i.e. they had never known 
nor had the opportunity of wor- 
shipping the one true God, and their 
ideas respecting Jehovah were no 
higher than the usual heathen view ; 
that gods had certain local habita- 
tions, and that it would be neces- 
sary to propitiate ' the god of the 
land ' to escape calamity through 
his resentment. 

2. The missionary priest. 

Here is a striking example of the 
way in which men's sins outlive 
them, and bring evil fruit in other 
generations. Jeroboam and his suc- 
cessors had forsaken the true priest- 
hood, and made a priesthood of their 
own, which would naturally be sub- 
servient to the royal wishes. 

This priest, sent by the king of 
Assyria to teach the new settlers 
' the manner of the god of the land,' 
would not be able to tell them more 
than he himself had received. No 
strict nor holy conception of Jehovah 
and His worship could have been 
taught the Samaritans, as we see 
clearly from what follows. 

8. Half-hearted worship. 

The Samaritans dishonoured Je- 
hovah by simply placing His worship 
on the same level as that of their 
own false divinities. He became to 
them simply one more god to be 
propitiated, as He might do them 
harm otherwise. 

So the later Samaritans, though 
they gave up idolatry, and wished 
to take part in the rebuilding of 
the Temple, always worshipped in 
an imperfect manner, ignoring the 
prophetical books as well as the 
Psalms, and thus our Lord said of 


taught. So have many of the 
heathen of our own day. 

Teach the importance of prayer 
for the heathen and for mission- 

S. Matt. ix. 37, 38. 

S. John iv. 35. 

2. Remind of Jeroboam's sin, and 
his schismatical worship and priests. 

This priest did not, and could 
not, teach the whole truth, not even 
the Fii^st Commandment. 

We should pray for missionaries, 
that they may teach the ivhole 
Catholic Faith ; and for the heathen, 
that they may have grace to give 
up entirely their old, evil life and 

Illustrate by words of S. Remi- 
gius to Clovis, king of the Franks, 
at his baptism : ' Bow thy head, 
burn what thou hast adored, and 
adore what thou hast burned. ' 

3. S. Matt. vi. 24. 
Acts xiv. 15. 
1 Cor. viii, 5, 6. 
1 Thess. i. 9, 10. 
Trace, if time permits, the sub- 
sequent history of the Samaritans. 
See S. John iv. 39-42. 
Acts i. 8. 

viii. 5-25. 



Lesson XXXI — continued. The Captivity of Israel 

them, ' Yc worship ve know not 
what' (S. John iv. 22). They did 
not understand the full revelation 
of God. 

Yet they were among the first to 
receive the Gospel. The Jews, who 
hnew much more, yet understood 

Blackboard Sketch. 

The Samaritans. 

Assj-rians who occupied the lands of the ten 

Did not know Jehovah as the only God. 

The Israelite priest had no true authority, 
and could not teach them perfectly. 

They worshipped Jehovah together with 
their own idols. 

Hated by the Jews, 

Cared for by God ; preached to by the Lord 
Jesus and His apostles. 



2 KINGS XVIII. 1-8; 2 CHRON. XXIX. 3-36; 
XXX. 1-27; XXXI. 1. 

"VyOW it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son 

_LA| of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz 

king of Judah began to reign, 2. Twenty and five years 

old was he when he began to reign ; and he reigned twenty 

and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was 

"Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. 3. And he did ^/la^ « 2Chron. xxix 

which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all 

that David his father did. 4. He removed the high places, 

and brake the ^ images, and cut down ^ the groves, and i R^^^P\ 

» ' f^ ' 2 the Asherah. 

brake in pieces ^the brasen serpent that Moses had made ; ^ Num. xxi. 

for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense 

to it : and he called it Nehushtan. 5. He trusted in the 

Lord God of Israel ; so that after him was none like him 

among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before 

him, 6. For he clave to the Lord, and departed not from 

following him, but kept his commandments, which the 

Lord commanded Moses. 7. And the Lord was with 

him ; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth : and 

he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him 

2 Kings xviii. 2. Abi, in Chronicles Abijah. 

4. And he called it Nehushtan. The sacred writer neither praises nor 
blames Hezekiah for this action. Most probably the expression means 
that Nehushtan, 'piece of brass,' was the name under which the serpent 
was worshipped (R.V. ma7rj. 'it was called'). The common explana- 
tion is that this name was given by Hezekiah in contempt. 

The incident is extremely interesting, as furnishing a parallel to the 
narrative in Numbers, and showing the tendency in Israel to superstitious 
worship of anything which had been associated with Divine revelation. 
The ancient danger was to materialise the spiritual ; the modern one is 
rather, in the attempt to spiritualise religion, to evacuate it altogether of 
meaning ; the ancients degraded religion into superstition, the moderns 
degrade it into sentimentalism. 

7. He rebelled against the king of Assyria. Hezekiah repudiated the 
alliance with Assyria that Ahaz had entered into. It was a dangerous 
step, and led shortly to the great invasion of Sennacherib. 

284 2 CHRON. XXIX. 3-36 

not. 8. He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and 
the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to 
the fenced city. 

2 CHRON. XXIX. 3. He in the first j^ear of his reign, in 
the first month, oi3ened the doors of the house of the Lord, 
and rejDaired them. 4. And he brought in the priests and 

3 the broad the Levites, and gathered them to2;ether into ^ the east 

place on the . 

east. street. 5. And said unto them. Hear me, ye Levites, 

c Ezra vi. 20. '^ sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the 
Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness 
out of the holy j^Zace. 6. For our fathers have trespassed, 
and done that which ivas evil in the eyes of the Lord our 
God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their 

d Ezek. viii. 16. 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 
ofiered burnt off'erings in the holy place unto the God of 
Israel. 8. Wherefore the wrath of the Lord was upon 

4 to be tossed Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them ^to 
to and fro. 

5 [Marg^.jtobe trouble, to astonishment, and 'Uo hissing, as ye see with 
Cf. isa. "xxviii. your eyes. 9. For, lo, our fathers have fiiUen by the sword, 

in ; Micah vi. , i i i ^ i 

10. and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in cap- 

tivity for this. 10. Now it is in mine heart to make a 

2 Chron. XXIX. 3. He in the first year of his reign, in the first month. 
It is significant of the character and earnestness of Hezekiah that iiis 
first act is to restore religion. He must have resolved this in secret 
during the reign of his father. We know not what good influences had 
been at work in his case ; but we can hardly doubt that Isaiah's was 
among the chief, and also that of his contemporary Micah. (Cf. Micah 
iii. 12, and Jer. xxvi. 18, 19). 

5. The filthiness — i.e. the various idol abominations with which Ahaz 
had defiled the ]jure religion of Jehovah. 

6. And turned their "backs. Perhaps an allusion to sun-worship (cf. 
Kzck. viii. l(i), which involved turning the face away from the Temple, 
which liad its most holy part at the west ejid. 

8. To hissing. A phrase from Micah vi. 16, implying the expression 
of astonishment and contempt by surrounding nations when they saw the 
calamities of Isiael. 

9. Our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. 
The allusion is apparently to the results of the invasion by Syria and 
Ephraim in the previous reign. See chap, xxviii. 


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 e Num. iii. 6; 
him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, 
and burn incense. 12. Then the Levites arose, IMahath 
the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, of the 
sons of the ■''Kohathites : and of the sons of Merari, Kish /Num. iii. 17. 
the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehalelel : and of 
the Gershonites ; Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden tlie 
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 sanc- 
tified themselves, and came, according to the command- 
ment of the king, by the words of the Lord, to cleanse 
the house of the Lord. 16. And the priests went '^ into e, witliin tiie - 
the inner part of the house of the Lord, to cleanse it, ^°^^^' 
and «' brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the g i Mace. iv. 
temple of the Lord into the court of the house of the "' 
Lord. And the Levites took it, to carry -i^ out abroad 
into the brook Kidron. 17. Now they began on the first 
day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day 
of the month came they to the porch of the Lord : so they 
sanctified the house of the Lord in eight days ; and in the 
sixteenth day of the first month they made an end. 18. 
Then they went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, We 
have cleansed all the house of the Lord, and the altar of 
burnt off'ering, with all the vessels thereof, and the shew- 
bread table, with all the vessels thereof. 19. Moreover all 
the vessels, which king Ahaz in his reign did cast away in 

12. The Levites arose. This was a representative gathering ; no doubt 
the names are those of the heads of families. There are two from each 
of the three great branches of Levites, the Kohathites, the Merarites, 
and the (4ershonites ; two from the family of Elizaphan, which was 
evidently of special distinction among the Koliathites (1 Chron. xv. 8), 
and two from each of the three families or guilds of Temple musicians, 
the sons of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun. See the titles in the third 
book of the Psalms. 

286 2 CHROK XXIX. 3-36 

7 set up. his transgression, have we " prepared and sanctified, and, 

behold, they are before the altar of the Lord. 20, Then 
Hezekiah the king rose early, and gathered the rulers of 
the city, and went up to the house of the Lord. 21. And 
they brought seven bullocks, and seven rams, and seven 

7i Lev. iv. 14. lambs, and seven he goats, for ^ a sin offering for the king- 
dom, and for the sanctuary, and for Judah. And he com- 
manded the priests the sons of Aaron to ofi'er them on the 
altar of the Lord. 22. So they killed the bullocks, and 

i Lev. viii. * the priests received the blood, and sprinkled it on the 
altar : likewise, when they had killed the rams, they 
sprinkled the blood upon the altar : they killed also the 
lambs, and they sprinkled the blood upon the altar. 23. 
And they brought forth the he goats for the sin offering 

j Lev. iv. 15. before the king and the congregation ; and ^ they laid their 
hands upon them : 24. And the priests killed them, and 

8 a sin-offering, they made ^reconciliation with their blood upon the altar, 

to make an atonement for all Israel : for the king com- 
manded that the burnt ofi'ering and the sin offering should 
be made for all Israel. 25. And he set the Levites in the 
house of the Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and with 
5;^xxv.'^r.'^'''"* harps, *^ according to the commandment of David, and of 

2L And they broug-lit seven bullocks, etc. This sin-offering is on the 
lines prescribed in Lev. iv., but of a more elaborate character, befitting 
the solemn occasion. All the different sorts of sacrificial animals are 
used, and of each the sacred number of seven. The offering had a three- 
fold application : it was for ' the kingdom,' i.e. for the royal family, which 
had been disgraced by Ahaz ; for ' the sanctuary,' which he had profaned 
V)y his idolatrous additions ; for 'Judah' — that is, the whole nation, Avhich 
had been involved in the sin of the king. 

23. Laid their hands upon them. This ritual act, which formed part 
of every sin-oftering, and also, in a more solenui manner, of the cere- 
monies of the Day of Atonement, signified the transference of sin to the 
victim, and was symbolical of Him who was afterwards to be revealed, 
'to bear the sin of many,' and Whom S. Paul speaks of as our 'sin- 
offering ' (2 Cor. v. 21). 

The burnt-oflfering-. Apparently a different offering from the sin- 
offering which lias just ])een described. Tlie burnt-offering, Mhich was a 
daily service, was of a more joyous character than the sin-offering, and 
in the later Temple was always accompanied by music, which began as 
soon as the drink-offering had been poured out (Num. xv.). 


Gad the king's seer, and Nathan the prophet : for so was 

the commandment of the Lord by his prophets. 26. And 

the Levites stood with ' the instruments of David, and the ^ -^"^os vi. 5. 

priests with the trumpets. 27. And Hezekiah commanded 

to oflfer the burnt oflfering upon the altar. And when the 

burnt oflFering began, the song of the Lord began also with 

the trumpets, and with the instruments ordai7ied by David 

king of Israel. 28. And all the congregation worshipped, 

and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded : and 

all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 

29. And when they had made an end of offering, the king 

and all that were present with him bowed themselves, and 

worshipped. 30. Moreover Hezekiah the king and the 

princes commanded the Levites to sing ^ j)raise unto the 9 praises. 

Lord with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. 

And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed 

their heads and worshipped. 31. Then Hezekiah answered 

and said. Now ye have consecrated yourselves unto the 

Lord, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings 

into the house of the Lord. And the congregation 

brought in sacrifices and thank ofi'erings ; and as many as 

were of a ^^free heart burnt offerings. 32. And the lo willing. 

number of the burnt ofi'erings, which the congregation 

brought, was threescore and ten bullocks, an hundred 

rams, and two hundred lambs : all these -were for a burnt 

ofi'ering to the Lord. 33. And the consecrated things 

were six hundred oxen and three thousand sheep. 34. But 

the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the 

30. To sing praise unto the LORD. The word is plural, 'praises'; 
the same word which is used in Hebrew for the Book of Psalms. Evi- 
dently collections of psalms of David and of Asaph were already- in exist- 
ence for Temple use, and are, without reasonable doul)t, embodied in our 
present Psalter. 

3L And as many as were of a free heart burnt offerings. Apparently 
it was a mark of greater devotion to bring a burnt-offering tlian a thank- 
offering. The latter was chiefly devoted to a feast for the worshippers, 
the former was entirely consumed. 

3.3. The consecrated things. In this case the ' thank-off'erings.' 

288 2 CHRON. XXX. 1-2^ 

burnt offerings : wherefore their brethren the Levites did 
help them, till the work was ended, and until the other 
priests had sanctified themselves : for the Levites tvere- 
more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the 
priests. 35. And also the burnt ofierings ivere in abun- 

m Lev. iii. dance, with "^the fat of the peace oflFerings, and "the drink 
offerings, for every burnt offering. So the service of the 
house of the Lord was set in order. 36. And Hezekiah 

11 because of rejoiced, and all the people, ^^ that God had prepared the 

had'pT^ared"' People : for the thing was done suddenly. 

for the people. ^XX. L And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and 
Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, 
that they should come to the house of the Loud at Jeru- 
salem, to keep the passover unto the Lord God of IsraeL 
2. For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and 
all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in 
the second month. 3. For they could not keep it at that 
time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves 

1^ in sufficient sufficiently,^^ neither had the people gathered themselves 
together to Jerusalem. 4. And the thing pleased the king 
and all the congregation. 5. So they established a decree 
to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beer- 
sheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the 
passover unto the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem : for 

13 in great they had not done it ^^ of a long time in such sort as it was 
written. 6, So the posts went with the letters from the 

XXX. 1. And wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh. The 
northern kingdom is here meant by ' Ephraim and Manasseh ' (verses 10, 
11). It was now within a few years of its fall (described already). 
Hezekiah's action is remarkable, as it was a last attempt to undo the 
work of Jeroboam, and once more to unite the twelve tribes in the 
national religion. That he was allowed to send such messages shows 
that the northern kingdom was already much weakened since the time of 
Ahaz (see ver. 0). 

3. At that time — i.e. in the first month, Nisan or Abib. The Law 
allowed the second month under exceptional circumstances (Num. ix. 
10, 11). 

6. The posts. Such messages were carried in ancient times by profes- 
sional 'runners.' In the Persian empire there was a regular system of 
royal posts. See Esther iii. 13-15. 


king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and 
according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye 
children of Israel, turn again unto the Lord God of 
Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the 
remnant of you that are escaped out of the hand of the 
kings of Assyria. 7. And be not ye like your fathers, and 
like your brethren, which tresi3assed against the Lord God 
of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, 
as ye see. 8. Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers 
ivere, but yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into 
his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever : and serve 
the Lord your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may 
turn away from you. 9. For if ye turn again unto the 
Lord, your brethren and your children shall find com- 
passion before them that lead them captive, so that they 
shall come again into this land : for the Lord your God is 
gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from 
you, if ye return unto him. 10. So the posts passed from 
city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh 
even unto Zebulun : but they laughed them to scorn, and 
mocked them. IL Nevertheless divers of Asher and 
Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came 
to Jerusalem. 12. Also in Judah the hand of God was to 
give them one heart to do the commandment of the king 
and of the j^rinces, by the word of the Lord. 13. And 
there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the 
feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very 
great congregation. 14. And they arose and took away 
the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for 
incense took they away, and cast them into the brook 
Kidron. 15. Then they killed the passover on the four- 
teenth day of the second month : and the priests and the 
Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and 

14. The altars that were in Jerusalem — i.e. the altars to different 
heathen gods, Avliieh had been erected by Ahaz ' in every corner of Jeru- 
salem ' (xxviii. 24). 

15. Were ashamed — i.e. of their previous slackness in the work of 
reformation, also of their complicity in the idolatry of Ahaz. 

, HEB. MON. : VOL. II. T 


2 CHRON. XXX. 1-2- 

brouoht in the burnt offerinus into the house of the Lord. 

I'l order. 

Exod. xii. 

15 that were 
well skilled in 
the service of 
the Lord. 

IG. And they stood in their place after their ^^ manner, 
according to the law of Moses the man of God : the priests 
sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the 
Levites. 17. For there were many in the congregation 
that were not sanctified : therefore the Levites had the 
charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that 
was not clean, to sanctify them unto the Lord. 18. For a 
multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and 
Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed them- 
selves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than " it was 
written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The 
good Lord pardon every one 19. TJiat prepareth his 
heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he 
he not cleansed according to the purification of the sanc- 
tuary. 20. And the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and 
healed the people. 21. And the children of Israel that 
were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened 
bread seven days with great gladness : and the Levites 
and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing with 
loud instruments unto the Lord. 22. And Hezekiah 
spake comfortably unto all the Levites ^'^ that taught the 
good knowledge of the Lord : and they did eat throagh- 
out the feast seven days, ofiering peace offerings, and 

18. Otherwise than it was written. There does not a^ppear to have 
been any special regulations as to purification before the Passover, but 
as it was the most solemn feast of the year, the general laws which 
regulated ceremonial uncleanness would all be strictly applied, e.r/. the 
touching of a dead l)ody, or any other ' unclean ' thing. Cf. Lev. vii. 
20, 21 ; xxii. o. It is also probable that tliere were pre-Mosaic rules of 
purification which came down from antiquity, and were well known. Cf. 
Exod. xix. 10. 

The good LORD pardon every one. This prayer is important, as it 
points to ttie existence of a spiritual conception of religion, such as was 
taught by the prophets. Ceremonial regulations were good ; but even 
they were subordinate to the inward spirit of devotion, the good will of 
the worshipper. H(izekiah's words would be a suitable prayer for Chris- 
tian use after a service in church. 

20. And healed the people. God did not allow any disease to break 
out among them which miglit otherwise have been the punishment of a 
disregard of the due ceremonial. 


making confession to the Lord God of their fathers. 23. 

And the whole ^^ assembly took counsel to keep p other J*> congrega- 
seven days : and they kept other seven days with glad- p i Kings viii. 

ness. 24. For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the 
congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand 
sheep ; and the princes gave to the congregation a thou- 
sand bullocks and ten thousand sheep : and a great number 
of priests sanctified themselves. 25. And all the congre- 
gation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all 
the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers 
that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in 
Judah, rejoiced. 26. So there was great joy in Jerusalem : 
for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of 
Israel there ivas not the like in Jerusalem. 27. Then the 
priests the Levites arose and blessed the people : and their 
voice was heard, and their prayer came uj) to '^ his holy ^ ps. ixviii. 5. 
dwelling place, even unto heaven. 

XXXI. 1. Now when all this was finished, all Israel 
that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and 
brake the ^^ images in pieces, and cut down the ^'^ groves, J^ pilars. 
and threw down the high places and the altars out of all 
Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until 
they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children 
of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their 
own cities. 

22. Making confession. Giving thanks in a solemn manner. 

25. The strangers. The non-Israelites, who were allowed to keep the 
Passover. The LXX readers the word ' proselytes.' 

XXXI. 1. In Ephraim also and Manasseh. Either this refers to the time 
after the fall of the northern kingdom, or it must be understood in some 
limited sense ; it would not have been possible for them to have destroyed 
high places and altars in the more populous parts of the rival kingdom.!/* 

The rest of Chapter xxxi. describes Hezekiah's appointment of the 
courses of priests and Levites, of the tithes and offerings, and of the dis- 
tribution of the revenue of the sanctuary and the priesthood. 




Hezekiah the Restorer of Religion 

Introduction. — As Uzziah was an example of a presumptuous king, who 
intruded into the office of the priesthood, so Hezekiah is an example of 
the right attitude of a king towards religion. He is the prime mover in 
a great national restoration of religion ; he exhorts priests and Levites to 
their duty ; he destroys what was corrupt, and restores what God had 
commanded ; he takes the most eager interest in the reconciliation of the 
people with God ; he encourages and intercedes. If Uzziah resembled 
Solomon in secular matters, Hezekiah is the nearest approach to David 
in zeal for religion. The lesson should bring out the nobility and the 
hopefulness of Hezekiah's work, and also its typical character, as illus- 
trated in the work of Christ. 


1. The cleansing of the Temple. 

As the Temple was the centre of 
national religion, and the visible 
sign of God's presence, Hezekiah 
naturally begins his work by puri- 
fying the Temple from the idolatry 
and neglect of the previous reign. 
So our Lord began His public 
ministry by driving out the buyers 
and sellers (S. John ii. ). And it 
should be noticed that Hezekiah 
endeavours to inspire the priest- 
hood with zeal and a sense of their 
duty. He does not usurp their 
functions, but uses his influence to 
see that these are rightly per- 


L Describe the condition of the 
House of God as Hezekiah found it — 
filth}^ from neglect, and polluted 
with idol-worship. Show that the 
king's work was a type of that of 
our Lord. 

Many of our own churches were 
in an analogous state a few years 
ago — neglected, dirty, shut from 
week to week ; and the national 
idolatry, the worship of mammon, 
was seen in the rented pews, and 
the reservation of the best seats for 
the rich. 

2. The renewal of sacrifice. 

Now that the Temple has been 
purified, the proper acts of worship 
are restored, and their order is sig- 
nificant — 

(1) Sin- offerings. An act of re- 
pentance must come first ; such 
atonement as man can offer for the 
neglect and profanity of the past 
must be made. 

2. Explain the meaning of the 
three kinds of sacrifice, which are 
all included in our Lord's 'full, 
perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, 
oblation, and satisfaction.' 

His sacrifice of Himself was — 

(1) The atonement for sin. 

(2) The consecration of humanity 

to God. 



Lesson XKXII— continued. Hezekiah the Restorer of Religion 


(2) Burnt -offerings. These repre- 
sent the positive side of repentance, 
the willing self-oblation of man to 
God. The burnt-oft'ering was wholly 
consumed on the altar, as a sign 
that repentance must lead to entire 
consecration of life ; and tlie ivil- 
linyness of this is symbolised by 
the joyful accompaniment of music 
(vei'ses 25-30). 

3. Thank-offering.^. These, of 
which the distinguishing feature 
was the sacrificial banc^uet, of which 
all partook, sj'mbolised the union 
and fellowship between God and 
man, and also between man and his 
fellow-man. Repentance and self- 
oblation lead to i^eace and love. 

3. The solemn Passover. 

The fundamental duties of religion 
lead to the highest act of national 
worship, the Passover, which was 
pre-eminently the sign of the cove- 
nant between God and the nation. 

Hezekiah's love of God impels 
him to show love to God's people, 
though estranged and separated. 
He lovingly invites the scattered 
remnants of the ten tribes to return, 
not to himself as their rightful king 
(^\•hich he was), but to God and 
His sanctuary (xxx. 8). And he 
further shows his love and large- 
heartedness by his intercession for 
those who were willing to seek the 
Lord, but had not been able to 
cleanse themselves ceremonially. 

4. The cleansing of the land. 
Hezekiah is eager that these re- 
ligious acts should not be merely a 
momentary or sentimental revival. 
Every effort is made to make a per- 
manent reformation by destroying 
all the old occasions to idolatry. 


(3) The reconciliation and peace 
of God and man. 

So repentance, faith, charity, are 
the necessary preparation for Holy 

3. The antitype of the Passover 
in the Christian Church is the Holy 
Eucharist, the corporate and 
thankful renewal of our covenant 
Avith God. 

With Hezekiah's invitation, cf. 
the parables of the Great Supper 
(S. Luke xiv. ), and the Marriage 
Feast (S. Matt. xxii.). 

Cf. S. Matt. xii. 43-45, and the 
requirement that those who come 
to the Holy Communion should be 
' steadfastly purposing to lead a 
new life. ' 

See also 1 S. John v. 21. 



Blackboard Sketch. 



Bade the priests cleanse 

Himself twice cleansed 

the Temple. 

the Temple. 

Offered sacrifices — 

Offered Himself in Sac- 

1. Sin-oflferings. 

rifice for our sins, 

2. Burnt-offerings. 

and to re-unite us 

3. Thank-offerings. 

to God. 

Kept a solemn Pass- 

Instituted the Holy 



Invited all Israelites to 

Invites all to partake 

keep it. 

of it. 

Cleansed the land from 

Requires from us true 





2 KINGS XVIII. 13-37 

lyyOW in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did 
JLl Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all 
the fenced cities of Judah, and took them, 14. 
And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria 
to Lachish, saying, I have offended ; return from me : that 
which thou puttest on me will I bear. And the king of 
Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of Judah three 
hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15. 
And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in 
the house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king's 
house. 16. At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold 
from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the 
pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and 
gave it to the king of Assyria. 17, And the king of 
Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rab-shakeh from 

13. Sennacherib king of Assyria. vSennacherib succeeded his father, 
Sargon, in 705, and before this invasion of Judah he had practically 
overrun all the countries, including Phcenicia, which stood between 
Assyria and Egypt. Judah was now left isolated, and he prepares to 
punish it for its revolt (ver. 7). This was in the year 701, the greatest 
historical crisis of the kingdom, the moment (except the Babylonian 
captivity) when its prospects seemed darkest, and when the promises of 
God to the line of David had the severest test laid upon them. Humanly 
speaking, Jerusalem lay absolutely at the mercy of Assyria ; and the 
discomfiture of the Assyrians, as predicted by Isaiah, is one of the most 
remarkable events in the history of the world, 

14. Lachish. This frontier city would command the approach from 
Egypt, so that no help for Hezekiah could be expected from that quarter. 

I have oflFended. Hezekiah confesses that he has done wrong in break- 
ing the alliance with Assyria. Probably his words should be regarded 
not only as a diplomatic confession of Aveakness, but as a confession that 
to repudiate a solemn pledge to Assyria without a cause was a wrong act 
and deserved punishment. The destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon 
was brought about by a similar act on the part of Zedekiah (2 Kings 
xxiv. 20), 

The passage, 2 Chron. xxxii, 2-8, should here be consulted, which 
describes the warlike preparations of Hezekiah, and his exhortation to 
his people to a holy con.fidence in God, 

17. And the king- of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rab-shakeh- 
These are apparently not proper names, but the titles of Assyrian otiicials- 

a Isa. vii. 3, 


Lachisli to king Hezekiali with a great host against Jeru- 
salem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And 
when they were come up, they came and stood by " the 
conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the 
fuller's field. 18. And when they had called to the king, 
there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which 
was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah 
the son of Asaph the recorder. 19. And Kab-shakeh said 
unto them. Speak ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the 
great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this 
wherein thou trustest ? 20. Thou sayest, (but they are 
hut vain words,) I have counsel and strength for the war. 
Now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against 
me ? 21. Now, behold, thou trustest upon the staft' of this 
bruised reed, everi upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it 
will go into his hand, and pierce it : so is Pharoah king of 
Egypt unto all that trust on him. 22. But if ye say unto 
me. We trust in the Lord our God : is not that he, whose 
high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, 

They were apparently 'the commander-in-chief,' 'the chief of the 
emuiehs' or ' chaniljerlain,' and 'the eliief cup-l>earer.' Rab is a prefix 
meaning ' liead ' or 'great,' of. 'Rabbi,' 'great teacher.' Sennacherib 
seems to have behaved with treachery (cf. Isa. xxxiii. 1). After receiving 
the tribute, which Hezekiah had collected, doubtless with much sorroAV 
to himself (verses 15, 16), he decides nevertheless to attack Jerusalem 
and carry its people into captivity. This is also borne out b}' the history 
of Josei:)hus. 

18. Eliakim the son of Hilkiah. This man had succeeded to the office 
of She])na, who was now only the 'scribe.' He is spoken of highly by 
Isaiah (xxii. 15-2")). He was evidently a patriot, one Mho trusted in the 
promises of (Jod rather than in alliance with Egypt. 

21. The staff of this bruised reed. Rab-shakeh, though witli different 
motives, re-echoes the warning given by the prophets against trust in 
Egypt- Egypt is, he says, like a broken reed, which will only hurt the 
hand of him who leans upon it. The same figure is used by Ezekiel at a 
later date (xxix. 0, 7). 

22. Is not that he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath 
taken away. I\al>-shakeli heiv plays upon the feeling, whicli lie was 
probably aware of, in tlie breasts of niau3' (^f the people of Judah — the 
feehng of resentment at Hezekiah's religious reforms. Ilie splendour 
and variety, and the low moral standard of the worship at the high places, 
was sure to be regretted; and Rab-shakeli cunningly uses tJiis as an 
argument that Jehovah would no longer helji those who had revolu- 


jind hath said to Judah and Jerusalein, Ye shall worship 
before this altar in Jerusalem ? 23. Now therefore, I pray 
thee, give j)ledges to my lord the king of Assyria, and I 
will deliver thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on 
thy part to set riders upon them. 24. How then wilt thou 
turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's 
servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for 
horsemen ? 25. Am I now come up without the Lord 
against this place to destroy it ? The Lord said to me. 
Go up against this land, and destroy it. 26. Then said 
Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna, and Joah, unto 
Rab-shakeh, Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the 
Syrian language ; for we understand it : and talk not with 

tionised His worship, and apparently reduced it to so small a matter as 
the worship at one altar only in Jerusalem. Of course the true answer 
to Rab-shakeh's insinuation was that Hezekiah had actually fulfilled 
Jehovah's own commandment by limiting His worship to one central 
sanctuary. Cf. Deut. xii,, especiall}' verses 13, 14. 

23. Now therefore, I pray thee, give pledges to my lord. This verse 
and the next one are a little ditticult. They are probably meant to 
emphasise the powerlessness of Hezekiah. The margin of the Revised 
Version reads, 'Make a wager with.' Rab-shakeh seems to be offering, 
sarcastically, to wager two thousand horses against the possibility of 
Hezekiah finding two thousand men who can ride them. What is the 
use, he then proceeds to argue, of rejecting the proposals of any of the 
servants of the king of Assyria, who are all well provided with cavalry, 
and of looking to Egypt for help? 

25. Am I now come up without the LORD ? Rab-shakeh's speech is a 
masterpiece of special pleading ; but he reserves his best stroke for the 
end. He represents himself as actually sent by Jehovah, as an instru- 
ment of judgment. Jehovah has, he insinuates, changed sides and taken 
part against His own people. And the fact that already ' all the fenced 
cities of Judah' (ver. 13) had been taken, miglit seem to support his 

26. Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language. This 
request that further parley might be conducted in 'Aramaean,' i.e. in the 
language of Mesopotamia, in order that the defenders and onlookers 
on the cit}' walls might not understand it, was a very weak move. It 
showed Rab-shakeh at once that Hezekiah's officers were not sure of 
their men. Some among them were probably disaft'ected. He at once 
addresses himself in unmistakable language to the common people on 
the wall, warning them that they will be the chief sufferers if Hezekiah 
holds out. They will not only be defeated ultimately, but they will 
have to undergo the horrors of a siege, Mhich he hints at in the coarsest 
language. The Chronicler paraphrases Rab-shakeh's argument thus : 


b Isa. X. 10, 11. US in the Jew.s' language in the ears of the people that are 
on the wall. 27. But Ral^-shakeh said unto them, Hath 
my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak 
these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on 
the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their 
own piss with you ? 23. Then Eab-shakeh stood and cried 
with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and spake, saying, 
Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria : 

29. Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you : 
for he shall not be able to deliver you out of his hand : 

30. Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, 

saying, The Lord will surely deliver us, and this city shall 

not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. 31. 

Hearken not to Hezekiah : for thus saith the king of 

1 make your Assyria, ^ Make an a(jreement with me by a present, and 
peace with me. , , , ,, , „ , . 

come out to me, and then eat je every man ot his own vine, 

and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the 

waters of his cistern : 32. Until I come and take you away 

to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a 

land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of 

honey, that ye may live, and not die : and hearken not 

unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth you, saying. The Lord 

b Isa. X. 10, 11. will deliver us. 33. '' Hath any of the gods of the nations 

delivered at all his land out of the hand of the king of 

'Doth not Hezekiah persuade j^ou to give over yourselves to die by 
famine and by thirst ? ' 

32, Until I come and take you away. Rab-shakeh probably spoiled 
tlie effect of his speech l>y saying too much al)out tlie future. To a 
people so intensely national as the Jews, even the most attractive 
promise of another land like their own land would not lead to surrender, 
but rather, as it always did on other occasions, to the most desperate 
and obstinate resistance. Captivity and exile were evils that could not 
be compensated for by 'corn and wine, bread and vineyards, oil olive 
and honey.' The obedience of the people to the king's command in 
ver. 36 shows that Rab-shakeh's speech had, after all, failed of its 

33. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered at all his land ? 
Rab-shakeh .shows in these words that he had no higlier conception of 
Jehovah than a mere national god. He places Him absolutely on the 
same level as the heathen gods of the cities whicli had already fallen to 



Assyria? 34. Where are the gods of Hamath, and of 
Arpad 1 where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah 1 
have they delivered Samaria out of mine hand ? 35. Who 
are they among all the gods of the countries, that have 
delivered their country out of mine hand, that the Lord 
should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand ? 36. But the 
people held their peace, and answered him not a word : 
for the king's commandment was, saying. Answer him not. 
37. Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over 
the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of 
Asaph the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, 
and told him the words of Rab-shakeh. 

Assyria ; of these, only Hamath and Sepharvaim can be identified. The 
Chronicler exactly explains the idea of Rab-shakeh : ' And they spake 
against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the 
earth, which were the work of the hands of man.' 

The Great Attack on Jerusalem 


L Jerusalem. 

The great attack of the Assyrians 
on Jerusalem is one of the most 
important events in the history of 
God's people. Jerusalem was left 
isolated by the capture of ' all the 
fenced cities of Judah,' apparently 
at the mercy of Sennachei-ib. The 
Assyrians were certain of their 
prey : and Rab-shakeh's embassage 
was meant to save the trouble of 
reducing the cit}^ by a blockade. 

The Divine purpose for the salva- 
tion of the world was bound up 
with the national existence of the 
Jews ; and the city of Jerusalem 
was the last stronghold. It is a 
type for all time of the Church of 
God ; and it stands out as such 
with peculiar vividness in this 
crisis of mortal danger. It had no 
allies, no forces or resources which 
could, humanly speaking, have a 
chance against the overwhelming 


L After describing the advance 
of Assyria, and tlie defenceless 
state of Jerusalem, the important 
point of the lesson will be to show 
that Jerusalem was not merely the 
capital of Judea but the city which 
God had given and where the 
Temple by His direction had been 
built, and M-hich was meant to 
suggest and be a type of the 
Catholic Church. 

Illustrate by the use of ' Jeru- 
salem ' in the New Testament (Gal. 
iv. 26 ; Heb. xii. 22 ; Rev. iii. 12, 
and xxi. 2, 10). 

The Catholic Church rests firm 
on the promise of Jesus Christ 
(S. Matt. xvi. 18). Its strength does 
not come from alliance with the 
State, nor from money or anything 


•2 KINGS XVIII. 13-37 

Lesson XXXIII — continued. The Great Attack on Jerusalem 


power of the great heathen empire 
which had already brought to 
an end Sj'ria and Israel, What 
strength Jerusalem had to depend 
on was not of this world ; it was 
hidden and incomprehensible to the 
foes. Jerusalem was built on some- 
thing stronger and more lasting 
than the impregnable heights of its 
natural position : it rested on the 
promises and purposes of Almighty 
God, the Ruler of the ^hole world. 

2. Rab-shakeh, 

Is a type of the ' prince of this 
world.' His coarse bluster, his con- 
temptuous, cynical attitude towards 
Jerusalem and its defenders, his 
appeal to 'common sense,' and the 
apparent witness of 'facts,' these 
are characteristic of the world's 
attitude towards the Church of 

' What confidence is this wherein 
thou trustest?' — apparently a con- 
scientious question. He cannot 
understand any possible hope of 
ultimate resistance. 

Is it Egypt ? Such assistance will 
fail when most needed, will be a 
liindrance rather than a support. 

Is it the help of Jehovah? Rab- 
shakeh's ideas of Divine assistance 
are those of the heathen world of 
his time. He thinks merely of a 
national divinity, an idol, or super- 
natural being, who would engage 
in a trial of sti'ength with other 
divinities and might be beaten by 
them. The chief hope in the 
assistance of such a god would be 
to multiply altars and olTeiings, 
and so far from doing that, Heze- 
kiah had limited the worship of 
Jehovah to one altar in Jerusalem. 

Is it Hezekiah himself? A mere 
enthusiast at the most, a petty king 
who could not defend his own cities, 
and had already confessed himself 
unable to stand against Assyria 1 

in this world ; yet the Church is 
the strongest thing in the world. 

Illustrate this by the passing 
away of all the great empires of 
the world, and the stability and 
continuance of the Church. See 
Dan. ii. 44. 

2. After describing Rab-shakeh 
and his arguments, point out 
that the Church is always being 
attacked, insulted, misunderstood 
by the powers of this world. 

Refer to Baptismal Service — 
' Christ's faithful soldier and ser- 
vant.' In proportion as any one 
tries to be this, there is sure to be 
some Rab-shakeh who will try 
to persuade him of the foll}^ of 
serving Christ, of trusting in Him, 
of resisting worldly temptations. 

With elder scholars the teacher 
might speak of the attacks on belief, 
on Catholic doctrine, Mdiich are 
current in the world, as well as of 
the temptations which the indi- 
vidual Christian must expect to 



Lesson XXXIII — continued. The Great Attack on Jerusalem 


3. The Church's attitude. 

Silence is best. No arguments 
could convince such an opponent. 
No reasons could appeal to him. 
And with silence is combined ^eni- 
tence. The officers of Hezekiah go 
to the king with their clothes rent. 
The action was significant ; it Avas 
not only an expression of grief, but 
of indignation at the insults offered 
to Jehovah, and an act of repara- 
tion, A warfare of words would 
not only have been impolitic and 
undignified, it would have lowered 
the adherents of Jehovah to the 
level of their enemies, 

Cf, Isa, XXX, 15, 


3. Warn against trying to argue 
with those who desire to attack 
and not to be convinced. 

Silence is often the Christian's 
most effective weapon. Illustrate 
by the silence of our Lord in His 
Passion before His accusers and His 

At the same time, when the 
Church, or the Bible, or our own 
faith is attacked, we should be 
careful to express sorrow in secret 
to God for the way in which He is 
dishonoured by men ; e.g. always 
say a prayer in secret for those who 
speak against Him, even if we can- 
not answer them openly. Attacks 
which we cannot answer we must 
leave to God Himself to overthrow. 

Blackboard Sketch. 

The great attack on Jerusalem, 

1, Jerusalem, the city of God, surrounded by 

the Assyrians ; no human help, 
A type of the Catholic Church, whose real 
strength is hidden and cannot be seen by 
the M'orld, 

2, Bah-shakeh, boastful, certain of his own 

strength; tries to persuade the Jews that 
neither friends nor king nor God can help 
A type of Satan, the prince of this world, 
and of the enemies of God's Church, 

3, The best iceapons — 


Learn — ' In quietness and confidence shall 
be your strength,' 

302 2 KINGS XIX. 


AND it came to j^ass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that 
iV he rent his clothes, and covered himself ysiih sack- 
cloth, and went into the house of the Lord. 2. 
And he sent Eliakim, w hich ivas over the household, and 
Shehna the scribe, and the elders of the jDriests, covered 
with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. 
3. And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day 
is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy : for the 
children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to 
bring forth. 4. It may be the Lord thy God will hear all 
the words of Kab-shakeh, whom the king of Assyria his 
master hath sent "' to reproach the living God ; and will 

a 1 Sam. xvii, 

1. V/lien king- Hezekiali heard it, etc. It is a crisis of this sort which 
tries character and depth of religion. Hezekiah does three things, all 
significant: (1) he puts on the garb of penitence, instinctively feeling 
that he must humble himself before God, confessing that there is no power 
of any avail except God ; (2) he goes into the Temple, i.e. into the porch, 
to seek God himself in prayer ; (3) he sends to God's representative, the 
prophet Isaiah, to ask his prayers and counsel. 

2. Isaiali the prophet. This is the first mention of Isaiah in the Books 
of Kings, though he had prophesied from the last year of Uzziah, and is 
mentioned as the historian of Uzziah's- reign (2 Chron. xxvi. 22). No 
douljt this account of the invasion of Sennacherib comes from the pen of 
Isaiah originally. The whole passage occurs also as chaps, xxxvi.-xxxvii. 
of the Book of Isaiah. 

For many years Isaiah had foreseen with increasing clearness the coming 
of the Assyrians, and had in several different wa3's foretold their dis- 
comfiture. See Isa. v. 26-30, vii. 17-25, viii. 5-10, x. 5-34, xxix. 1-8, 
XXX. 27-33, xxxi. 4-9, xxxiii. A study of these passages will be found 
most useful. 

3. The children are come to the birth. This metaphor may implj' no 
more than failure of natural pov»^er, and helplessness, or it may have a 
deeper meaning. The nation of Israel was in travail with tlie Divine 
purposes. It seemed for the moment that the heathen had prevailed, and 
these purposes would never come to birth, and that Christ would not be 

4. To reproach the living- God. It is characteristic of all the highest 
religious thought of the Old Testament that the honour of God is the first 
consideration. God is the 'living God,' not like the dead idols and life- 
less conceptions of the heathen ; and for His own sake He will not permit 
His glory to be tarnished. Cf. Ezek. xx., where this idea is developed at 


rejjrove the words which the Lord thy God hath heard : 

wherefore lift up tliy prayer for ^ the remnant that are left. '^ isa. i. 9. 

5. So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 6. 

And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your 

master, Thus saith the Lord, Be not afraid of the words 

which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the 

kino- of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7. Behold, ^ I will ^ i will put a 

spirit in him. 
send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and 

shall return to his own land ; and I will cause him to fall 

by the sword in his own land. 8. So Rab-shakeh returned, 

and found the king of Assyria warring against *^ Libnah : <^ Josh. x. 29. 

for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish. 

9. And when he heard say of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, 

Behold, he is come out to fight against thee : he sent 

messengers again unto Hezekiah, saying, 10. Thus shall ye 

speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God 

in whom thou trustest deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem 

shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. 

11. Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria 

have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly : and 

shalt thou be delivered ? 12. Have the gods of the nations 

7. Behold, I will send a blast upon him. The correction of the Revised 
Version is significant. It helps us to understand how prayer may be 
effective. The hidden forces and impulses which control human action 
are in the hand of God. God can ' put a spirit ' in a man which will 
cause him to change his purpose. Thus prayer may alter the whole 
course of history, and no doubt has often done so. In this case the 
' spirit ' put in the Assyrians was one of terror or apprehension of 

9. Tirhakah king of Ethiopia. The advance of this king was probably 
the disquieting ' rumour ' which Sennacherib was to hear, and Avhich 
rendered him more anxious to get the surrender of Jerusalem b}- threats. 
Tirhakah is probably Taracus, the last Pharaoh of the twenty-fifth 
(Ethiopian) dynasty, though whether he was aotually king of Eg^'pt at 
this time is uncertain. 

10. Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee. The blas- 
phemy of the Assyrians reaches now a further height. Ralj-shakeh had 
warned the defenders of Jerusalem against being deceived by Hezekiah ; 
but now it is God Himself they are warned against ! Perhaps Sennacherib 
had heard of the influence of Isaiah with the king. 

304 2 KINGS XIX. 

delivered them which my fathers have destroyed ; as Gozan, 
and Haran, and Eezeph, and the children of Eden which 
ivere in Thelasar ? 13. Where is the king of Hamath, and 
the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, 
of Hena, and Ivah ? 14. And Hezekiah received the letter 
of the hand of the messengers, and read it : and Hezekiah 
went up into the house of the Lord, and spread it before 
the Lord. 15. And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, 

2 sittest upon, and said, Lord God of Israel, which ^dwellest between 
d Exod. XXV. d the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all 

22. J 5 5 

the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and 
earth. 16. Lord, bow down thine ear, and hear : open, 
Lord, thine eyes, and see : and hear the words of Sen- 

3 wherewith he nacherib, ^ which hath sent him to reproach the living God. 
17. Of a truth, L(jrd, the kings of Assyria have destroyed 
the nations and their lands, 18. And have cast their gods 
into the fire : for they were no gods, but the work of men's 
hands, wood and stone : therefore they have destroyed 
them. 19. Now therefore, Lord our God, I beseech 
thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms 
of the earth may know that thou art the Lord God, even 
thou only. 20. Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to 
Hezekiah, saying. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, That 
which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of 

hath sent him. 

12. Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, etc. All these places are probably 
in Mesopotamia, the district lyiug between Palestine and the Assyrian 
capital Nineveh. Haran is the place where Abraham dwelt for a time, 
the same as the later Carrha;, where the Roman triumvir Crassus was 
defeated by the Parthians. ' The children of Eden ' are unknown, though 
no doubt the ' Eden ' referred to is the same district as that which is 
meant in Gen. ii. 8 as the original seat of the human race. ' Eden' is the 
name of the wliole district, not of course to be confused with 'the garden 
of Eden.' 

1."). Thou art tlie God, even thou alone. The most remarkable charac- 
teristics of Hezekiah's prayer (in wliich we may see perhaps the influence 
of Isaiah's teaching) are: (1) The belief that Jehovah is the universal 
Creator and the one God of the whole world, far different to any local 
or national god ; (2) That God's great acts for Israel will be a witness 
to the world, and a means of drawing the nations to a purer worship 
(see ver. 19). 


Assyria I have heard. 21. This is the word that the Lord 

hath spoken concerning him ; The virgin the daughter of 

Zion hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn ; the 

daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee. 22. 

Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed ? and against 

whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes 

on high 1 even against the Holy One of Israel. 23. By thy 

messengers thou hast reproached the Lord, and hast said, 

With the multitude of my chariots I am come ujd to the 

heitdit of the mountains, to ^ the sides of Lebanon, and will * innermost 

•= ' ' parts, 

cut dowm the tall cedar trees thereof, aiid the choice fir 

5 his furthest 
trees thereof: and I will enter into the -^lodgings of his lodging-places. 

21. Tliis is the word that the LORD hath spoken. This is one of the 
most remarkable prophecies in the Bible, both for its vigour and sub- 
lime assurance of faith, and also for its rapid and literal fulfilment 
where all human probability pointed the other way, and where by 
no possibility could the prophet have learned by any human means what 
would happen. 

The prophecy is divided into two parts, verses 21-28 a dramatic address 
to the king of Assj^ria, and verses 29-34 a direct address to Hezekiah and 
his people. 

The virgin, the daughter of Zion. Cities are usually personified as 
women in Scripture : Jerusalem is called the daughter of Zion, because 
the fortress of Zion, the site of palace and Temple, is the head and mother, 
as it were, of the city, and she is called 'virgin,' as having never been 
conquered since David's time. ' The daughter of Jerusalem ' is a 
poetical parallel to ' the daughter of Zion.' There is probably no clear 
distinction to be drawn between the two, unless it be that tlie first is the 
cit\', and the second the people of the city. 

22. The Holy One of Israel. This is a favourite phrase of Isaiah's. The 
God of Israel is pre-eminently 'holy' in both senses of the word : (1) as 
exalted far above all that is merely of this world ; (2) as supremely pure 
ami righteous. In both respects Jehovah stands on an absolutely different 
plane to the gods of the heathen. 

23. And hast said. These words introduce a boastful speech, which is 
put dramatically in the mouth of the king of Assyria. The answer of 
(iod to this boast begins with ver. 25, which in reading aloud should be 
marked by a pause and a change of voice. The Assyrian is represented 
as boasting of the irresistible advance of his chariots, the devastation 
which he causes by cutting down forests and parks (ver. 23), and his 
success in siege operations (ver. 24). 

The sides of Lebanon — i.e. the innermost recesses of Lebanon, a region 
famed for its extraordinary variety and beauty, especially for its mag- 
nificent cedars. See Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, pp. 413, 414 h. 

306 2 KINGS XIX. 

*^ liis fruitful borders, and into the forest of ^ his Carmel. 24. I have 
digged and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my 

7 will I dry up. feet " have I dried up all the rivers ^ of besieged places. 

8 of Egypt. ^ "^ ! 

25. Hast thou not heard long ago how I have done it, and 

e Isa. X. 5. ^^ ancient times that I have formed it ? ^ now have I brought 
it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste fenced cities 
into ruinous heaps. 26. Therefore their inhabitants were 
of small power, they were dismayed and confounded ; they 
were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb, as the 
grass on the house tops, and as corn blasted before it be 

9 sitting down, grown up. 27. But I know thy '-^ abode, and thy going out, 

and thy coming in, and thy rage against me. 28. Because 

10 arrogance, thy rage against me and thy ^'Humult is come up into mine 

ears, therefore I will put my hook in thy nose, and my 
bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by 
which thou camest. 29. And this shall he a sign unto 
thee, Ye shall eat this year such things as grow of them- 

23. The forest of Ms Carmel. See Revised Version. The allusion is 
ap])arently to the famous grove of cedars of Lebanon, called by Ezekiel 
' the garden of God' (xxxi.) — a remarkable chapter, wliere the Assyrian 
is himself compared to one of these cedars. 

24. I have digged and drunk strange waters. Sennacherib boasts that 
in his campaigns he has, b\' digging, provided his armies M'ith si;pplies of 
water unknown before. Consequenth' it is in vain for Hezekiah to 
provide water supjAies for Jerusalem, or to try to cut off the water from 
his besiegers. See 2 Chron. xxxii. 3, 4. 

I dried up all the rivers of besieged places. See the important correc- 
tions of the Revised Version. Sennacherib will (metaphoricall}^) dry up 
the waters of the Nile, and march his army through it. 

25. Hast thou not heard ? God indignantly addresses the Assyrian, 
Is he so ignorant as not to know (1) that all these things are the creation 
c»f God, and (2) tliat without God's permission none of the conquests 
wliich he lioasts of would have been possible? 

26. Therefore, — because God has permitted it, not because the Assyrian 
willed it. 

2S. I will put my hook in thy nose. God will punish the Assyrian 
after he luis done the work of vengeance which God has permitted him 
to do, by taming him like a wild Ix-ast is tamed, with a ring in his nose 
and a bit in his teeth. 

29. And this shall be a sign unto thee. Here Hezekiah himself is 
addressed. Tlie sign of the permanent deliverance of the land from the 
Assyrian will l^e that, though it has been thrown out of cultivation, there 


selves, and in the second year that which springeth of the 
same ; and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant 
vineyards, and eat the fruits thereof. 30. And the rem- 
nant that is escajDed of the house of Judah shall yet again 
take root downward, and bear fruit upward. 31. For out 
of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and ^^ they that escape ^ and out of 
out of mount Zion : •''the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do they that shall 
this. 32. Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the /^isu.\x. 7. 
king of Assyria, He shall not come ^^ into this city, nor ^^ unto, 
shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor 
cast a bank against it. 33. By the way that he came, by 
the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, 
saith the Lord. 34. For I will defend this city, to save 
it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake. 
35. And it came to pass that night, that ^the angel of the g^ Ecclus. xlviii. 
Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians 
an hundred fourscore and five thousand : and when ^^ they ^^ men. 

will be enough that grows of itself to feed the people for two years, and 
the third year will be a new beginning of settled agricultural life. 
Perhaps the second year spoken of was the Sabbatical year. 

30. And the remnant that is escaped, etc. The renewed growth of the 
fruits of the earth after the devastation of the Assyrians suggests a 
similar resurrection for the 'remnant,' the few who have escaped. They 
too shall again take root and be fruitful. 

32. Therefore thus saith the LORD, etc. The prophecy ends with the 
most definite and categorical assertion that the threatened siege of Jeru- 
salem will never take place. The arrows, the great shields under which 
the besiegers approached the wall, and the bank or mound raised to 
command the walls, are all portrayed on Assyrian monuments. 

35. The angel of the LORD went out. It is generally assumed that a 
pestilence, or some poisonous scirocco, Mas the instrument by which this 
host was destroyed. But behind the material means, faith descried the 
angel of the Lord, the personal minister of the vengeance of God. 

When they arose early. This of course implies that all the Assyrian 
host did not perish, e.g. Sennacherib himself. With this destruction of 
the Assyrians should be compared the earlier prophecies of Isaiah, 
especially chap. xxxi. 8, ' Then shall the Assyrian fall Avith the sword, 
not of man'; also Ps. Ixxvi. (called in LXX 'the song against the 
Assyrian'). The noble poem of Byron on this event is well known. 
Perhaps the most remarkable side-light on the event is supplied by the 
curious Eg3'ptian tradition preserved by the Greek historian Herodotus 
(ii. 141), in which, though the destruction of Sennaclierib is ascribed 
to the Egyptians, it is still represented as being the answer to prayer, 
and an interposition of God. See Supplementary Note, p. 31L 



arose early in the morning, behold, they icere all dead 
corjDses. 36. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, 
and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. 37. And 

h Nahum i. u. it came to pass, ^ as he was worshipping in the house of 
Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons 
smote him with the sword : and they escaped into the 

1^ Aiarat. land of " Armenia. And Esar-haddon his son reigned in 

his stead. 

37. Nisroch his god. This divinity is otherwise unknown. It has been 
thought to be the eagle-headed god portraj^ed on Assyrian monuments. 
The murder of Sennacherib took place in 681. 

The Great Deliverance 


1. Prayer. 

For a moment the rumour of the 
Ethiopian attack diverted the 
Assyrians from Jerusalem. But 
the insolent letter of Sennacherib 
himself showed that it was only a 
temporary respite. Sennacherib 
was convinced of his own over- 
mastering power, and did not intend 
to leave Jerusalem unconquered. 

The attitude of Hezekiah is very 
different to that of Ahaz. He 
throws himself and his people on 
God alone. His prayer is based 
upcm the belief (foreign to the mind 
of the Assyrians) that his God is 
God of all nations and ruler of all 
events ; and the spirit of his prayer 
is zeal for God's honour, i.e. it is 
full of the love of God. He dcsir-es 
first of all that God's name should 
not be blasphemed ; and the deliver- 
ance which he asks for is not merely 
for himself and his people, but for 
the sake of the world, that all the 
kingdoms of the earth may learn 
the truth about Jehovah. 

Hezekiah shows a true sense of 
the mission of Israel in the world ; 
their preservation is not for their 
own sakes but for the honour of 


1. Describe the events which led 
up to Hezekiah's prayer. 

Point out its humility ; the king 
rent his clothes and put on sack- 
cloth ; its trust in revelation, it was 
offered in the Temple, and is ad- 
dressed to God, who dwelt ' between 
the Cherubim,' i.e. to God who had 
promised His presence and His help 
to His people. 

Analyse the prayer, and compare 
it with the Lord's Prayer. It puts 
first God's honour ; it prays for the 
hallowing of God's name and the 
coming of God's kingdom ; and for 
personal deliverance only in sub- 
ordination to these thiugs. 

Point out that all the mercies of 
God are given (1) that the receiver 
may glorify God, (2) that they may 
be used for the good of man. 



Lesson XXXIV — continued. The Great Deliverance 


God, and the religious education of 
tlie heathen world. 

2. Prophecy. 

The reply of the prophet Isaiah 
is the Divine answer to the inter- 
cessions of himself and the king. 
It is the vindication of the right- 
eousness of God in the face of the 
puzzles and perplexities which the 
arrogant domination of the As- 
syrians must have awakened. His- 
tory is not what it seems to the 
ordinary onlooker. Behind all the 
rage and cruelty and ambition of 
Assj-ria is the unchanging purpose 
of a holy God. The Assyrian can 
do nothing but what he is permitted 
to do. All his power is in the hands 
of God ; and he will be compelled to 
recognise it. There is a limit which 
he will not be allowed to pass. Both 
he and those whom he was seeking 
to subjugate in his lust of conquest 
will know that there is a power and 
a purpose in the world greater than 

Isaiah's prophecy is both ^jre- 
dictive and interpretative. It not 
only foretells in the most cate- 
gorical manner future" events, but 
it helps men to see the reasons of 
events from the Divine point of 
view. Prophecy is the key to 

3. The hand of God. 

The Assyrian destruction was 
complete, final, and yet unforeseen 
by all except Isaiah and those who 
believed his word. It was not the 
only time in history when an un- 
foreseen disaster has turned the 
whole course of events against all 
human probal)ility. But in this 
case God vouchsafed to explain to 
man His own action. A miracle is 
not merely an extraordinary event, 
but a revelation of the supreme will 
of God working behind all natural 


2. Explain that Isaiah's prophecy 
was the word inspired by the Holy 
Spirit (see Nicene Creed) in answer 
to the pi'ayer and faith of the 

Show (1) how it foretold the 
future, (2) how it helps us to under- 
stand things which seem strange 
in the world, bad men apparently 
having their own way unpunished, 
the innocent suflering. 

No evil can ever proceed further 
than God permits it. God may 
allow evil men to do evil for hidden 
reasons of His own, but He never 
allows them to go beyond His own 
purpose ; and God's purpose is 
always good, though we cannot 
always see at the time the reason. 

God rules the actions of men as 
He rules nature, though in a differ- 
ent way. 

Refer to story of Knut and the 
advancing tide. 

Cf. Isa. X. 5-15 ; Job xxxviii. 
8-11; S. Johnxix. 11. 

3. Describe the overthrow of the 
Assyrians. All their confidence, 
their splendour, the banners and 
the weapons of war M^ere over- 
thrown and made useless in a single 
night b}' the hand of God. 

Cf. the destroying of the Egyp- 
tian firstborn and of Pharaoh's 
hosts ; the destruction of the Span- 
ish Armada. 

Cf. Psalms Ixxv. -Ixxvi. , which refer 
to this destruction of the Assyrian. 

Byron's great poem may also be 



Blackboard Sketch. 

The Great Deliverance. 

Prayer. Hezekiah prayed 
with humility 
in the Temple 

remembering God's promises. 
He prayed first for the honour of God, and 

then for himself and people. 
Cf. the Lord's Prayer. 

Prophecy. Isaiah's words, inspired by the 
Holy Ghost, 
foretold the deliverance ; 
explained that Gods purpose is almighty 
and no evil can happen without God's 

The hand of Ood. The Assyrian army is 
destroyed in one night by the Angel of 
'At Thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both 
chariot and horse arc fallen.' 


SUPPLEMENTARY NOTE {Herodotus, ii. 141) 

' They say that Sanacharibos, king of the Arabians and Assyrians, led 
a great army against Egypt. Now the warriors of Egypt refused to give 
help against him. The priest {i.e. Sethos, priest of Vulcan, who occupied 
the throne of Egypt) being in distress went into the shrine and bewailed 
before the image of the god the sufferings of which he was in danger. 
And while he was thus bewailing, sleep came upon him, and in a dream 
he seemed to see the god standing by him, and encouraging him, telling 
him that he would suffer no reverse by attacking the Arabian army ; for 
" I myself," he said, " will send thee avengers." The priest, trusting in 
these dreams, took wath him all the Egyptians who were willing to follow, 
and encamped in Pelusium ; for there are the entrances into Egypt. And 
none of the warriors accompanied him, but only peddlers and mechanics 
and common rabble. But when they arrived there, swarms of field-mice 
fell upon the enemy and ate in pieces their quivers and bows and the 
straps of their shields, so that on the morrow they fled unprotected by 
armour, and many of them were slain. And at the present time a stone 
statue of this king stands in the temple of Vulcan, holding in his hand a 
mouse, with this inscription, "Let him who looks at me reverence the 
gods." ' 

In connection with this legend it is interesting to notice that a mouse 
was anciently symbolical of pestilence. It is possible that the legend 
grew out of the existence of the statue, the mouse being misunderstood, 
and interpreted literally. It is also probable that if this disaster to 
Sennacherib's army took place on the Egyptian frontiers, the Egyp- 
tians themselves fell upon the survivors and increased the rout. 

312 2 KINGS XX. 



"N those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the 
prophet Isaiah the son of Amos came to him, and said 
unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in 
order ; for thou shalt die, and not live. 2, Then he turned 
his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying, 
3. I beseech thee, Lord, remember now how I have 
walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and 
have done that ■which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah 
wept sore. 4. And it came to j)ass, afore Isaiah was gone 

1 the middle out into ^ the middle court, that the word of the Lord came 

partof the city. 

to him, saying, 5. Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the 

captain of my people. Thus saith the Lord, the God of 

David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen 

thy tears : behold, I will heal thee : on the third day thou 

shalt go up unto the house of the Lord. 6. And I will 

add unto thy days fifteen years ; and I will deliver thee 

and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria ; and 

1. In those days— apparently just after the Assyrian invasion, as 
seems to be implied in ver. fi. Probabh- Hezekiah's ilhiess was due to 
the anxiety caused by the crisis through which his kingdom had just 

Thou Bhalt die, and not live. This is a striking example of the fact 
which is so often taught in Scripture, that God's judgments are often 
reversible by repentance and prayer. Thej'^ may be expressed in the 
most absolute language, as in this case, and yet be modified or altered 
b}- the mercy of God. 

2. And prayed unto the LORD. Contrast the behaviour of Asa, 

2 Chron. xvi. 12. Hezekiah's prayer (ver. 3) is indeed more in the style 
of the Old Testament than the New. The revelation of Jesus Christ has 
taught a deeper humility and a higher ideal of sanctity. Nevertheless 
we must remember that it is possible for such words as Hezekiah uses to 
be said with perfect sincerity and in a spirit altogether different from 
that of the Pharisee (S. Luke xviii. 11, 12). Hezekiah Avas conscious of 
his own lore of God, and his endeavours to serve Him. The Pharisee 
showed no love, his prayer M'as the boasting of self-satisfaction. 

6. I will add unto thy days fifteen years. This period added to the 
fourteen years previous to the invasion of Sennacherib would make up 
the twenty-nine years of Hezekiah's reign. 


I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my 

servant David's sake. 7. And Isaiah said, Take a ^ lumj) '-^ cake. 

of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he 

recovered. 8. And Heeekiah said unto Isaiah, What 

shall be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I 

shall go up into the house of the Lord the third day ? 

9. And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the Lord, 

that the Lord will do the thing that he hath spoken : 

shall the shadow go forward ten ^ degrees, or go back ten ^ steps. 

^ degrees ? 10. And Hezekiah answered, It is a light 

thing for the shadow to go down ten ^ degrees : nay, but 

let the shadow return backward ten ^degrees. 11. And 

Isaiah the prophet cried unto the Lord : and « he brought « Josh. x. 12-13; 

^ ^ . . * Ecch;s. xlviii. 

the shadow ten ^ degrees backward, by which it had gone 23. 

down in the dial of Ahaz. 12. At that time Berodach- 

baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Baliylon, sent letters 

7. Take a lump of figs. Cakes of compressed figs are a common article 
of food in the Easb. It is also said that the use of a plaster of iigs acts 
favourably upon boils and carbuncles, bringing them to a head. But in 
this case the cure was miraculous, and it Avas shown to be so by the use 
of the very simplest natural means when the patient was apparently 
past the use of remedies (ver. ]). 

11. The dial of Ahaz. Apparently from the use of the word 'steps' 
(see R.Y. ) this so-called dial was not what we commonly understand by 
a sun-dial, but some device whereby the shadow of an obelisk fell upon 
a tier of steps. These steps would be properly graduated, and so the 
incidence of the shadow would tell the time. Ahaz, no doubt, had 
introduced this scientific instrument from the East among his other 
foreign importations. Sun-dials and the division of time into hours are 
said to have been invented by the Babylonians (Hdt. ii. 109). 

How this great miracle was accomplished it is beyond our power to 
discover. There is no need, of course, to assume any actual change in 
the movement of the earth, any more than in the case of Joshua's bid- 
ding the sun and moon to stand still. It was the shadow only that 
returned, not the sun. Probably some extraordinary refraction is suffi- 
cient in each case to account for the miracle, though in each case it was 
a distinct interposition of God. 

The song of thanksgiving which Hezekiah used for his recovery is 
given by Isaiah xxxviii. 9-20, and should be read. 

12. Berodach-baladan, king of Babylon. Isaiah gives the first part of 
this name as Merodach, wliich is no doubt correct, as Merodach was the 
name of one of the principal gods of Babylon. This visit of the king of 
Babylon is most significant. It is practically the first appearance of 
Babylon in the sacred history, and suggests the approaching greatness of 

314 2 KINGS XX. 

and a present unto Hezekiah : for he had heard that 
Hezekiah had been sick. 13. And Hezekiah hearkened 
unto them, and shewed them all the house of his precious 
things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the 
■* oil. precious ^ ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all 

that was found in his treasures : there was nothing in his 
house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them 
not. 14. Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Heze- 
kiah, and said unto him, What said these men ? and from 
whence came they unto thee ? And Hezekiah said. They 
are come from a far country, even from Babylon. 15. And 
he said, What have they seen in thine house ? And 
Hezekiah answered, All the things that are in mine house 
have they seen : there is nothing among my treasures that 
I have not shewed them. 16. And Isaiah said unto 
Hezekiah, Hear the word of the Lord. 17. Behold, the 
days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which 
thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be 
carried into Babylon : nothing shall be left, saith the Lord. 

that power which in the course of the century was to overthrow the 

Without doubt this complimentary visit had a political motive, and 
was part of a scheme to secure allies for Babylon in its rise against 
Assyria. The Chronicler seems to imply that the Babylonians were also 
attracted by the news of the miracle of the sun-dial (2 Chron. xxxii. 31). 

13. And Hezekiali hearkened unto them. Hezekiah seems to have been 
carried away for the moment by vanit}"^ ; and, being flattered by the 
Babylonian visit, to have made a vain display of his treasures and 
armour. It was a temptation which God permitted, and lie fell before it. 
See 2 Chron. xxxii. 31. 

16. Hear the word of the LORD. This is a remarkable prediction of 
what came to pass rather more than a century later. Isaiah foresees 
as clearly the Babyhwiiau captivity as he had the discomtitiue of the 
Assyrians. We are not of course to suppose that Hezekiah's fault v as 
the cause of that captivity. But this moment is chosen bj' God to give 
the warning through His prophet. It was a humiliation for Hezekiah, 
in the hour of his glory, to be told of the coming disaster which lay 
absolutely in God's power to inflict. 

In the book of Isaiah this narrative occupies a significant position at 
the end of chap, xxxix., the great turning-point of the book. It stands 
there, as has well been said, like a finger-post pointing to Babylon. And 
all the subsequent chapters, whether this Isaiah or a later one wrote 
them, assume the Jews to have been carried to Babylon, foretell their 
return, and the coming of Christ as true Prophet and Priest. 



18. And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou 
shalt beget, shall they take away ; and they shall be 
eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. 19. Then 
said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, Good is the word of the Lord 
which thou hast spoken. And he said, Is it not good, if 
peace and truth be in my days ? 20. And the rest of the 
acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a 
pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city, are 
they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings 
of Judah ? 21. And Hezekiah slept with his fathers : and 
Manasseh his son reigned in his stead. 

19. Then said Hezekiah. The king's reply sho\vs a humble spirit. He 
accepts, like Job, the coming disaster, and expresses his hope that 
during his own reign at least God will allow him to enjoy ' peace and 

God's Lessons to Hezekiah 


1. The lesson of sickness. 

The wonderful deliverance of 
Jerusalem from the Assyrians was 
followed by years of peace (cf. Isa. 
xxxiii. 13-24). The rest that is re- 
corded of Hezekiah seems to point 
to the enforcement in a more per- 
sonal manner of the great lesson 
which God had been teaching His 
Church and the world. Hezekiah 
himself has to learn more fully that 
power belongs to God alone, that 
no successes are any cause for per- 
sonal congratulation, that what 
God has given He may equally take 

In the midst of peace and triumph 
a mortal illness seizes the king, and 
he is M'arned to prepare for death. 
Again in answer to prayer, the 
stroke is arrested, but the king is 
shown that his recovery just as 
much as his illness came from God's 
hand. The simplest remedy is per- 


1. This lesson should be mainly 
descriptive, but the teacher should 
point out : — 

(1) The evident parallel between 
Hezekiah's sickness and recovery 
and the Divine intervention when 
the Assyrians threatened Jeru- 
salem ; prayer and prophecy play a 
prominent part in each event, and 
the lesson in both is the same. 

(2) No disease happens without 
God's permission, and the issue of 
it is in His hand ; prayer should 
accompany all medical treatment. 

Cf. the Office for the Visitation of 
the Sick, especially the words of 
the first exhortation, 'Know this, 
that Almighty God is the Lord of 
life and death"^ and of all things to 
them pertaining, as youth, strength, 
health, age, weakness, and sick- 
ness,' etc. 

Illustrate by the postponement of 
the Coronation of Edward vii., 



Lesson XXXV — continued. God's Lessons to Hezekiah 


mitted to cure a disease which no 
court physician could heal. And a 
miracle which could only proceed 
from the inscrutable wisdom of God, 
is added as a sign that God is Lord 
of all that happens to man. 

2. The rebuke of vanity. 
Hezekiah seems, in the peace and 

prosperity- of the latter part of his 
reign, to have given way for a 
moment to vanity. He was flat- 
tered b)'- the embassage from Baby- 
1 )nia, and he makes a display of 
his possessions in a way which was 
perhaps very natural, but yet un- 
seemly for one who had received 
such extraordinary mercies from the 
hand of God. These mercies should 
liave deepened humility. More- 
over, it was just because Hezekiah 
was a righteous man at heart that he 
was counted worthy to receive re- 
buke and further teaching from God. 
(See S. John xv. 2 ; Heb. xii. 7.) 

He receives an inspired message 
from Isaiah (which must have 
needed true faith to receive), that 
in spite of all the marvellous de- 
liverance which God has just 
given, a captivity is yet to come ; 
the royal treasures will be carried 
to Babylon, the country before 
whose envoy he had just been 
making his vain display ; and the 
ro3^al seed will be servants in a 
heathen court. 

3.'s resig-nation. 

The king receives this rebuke, 
which migl)t have seemed the very 
contradiction of all that God had 
done for the nation, in the true 
spirit of sonship. He receives it 
as Abraham did the command to 
sacrifice tlie heir of the promises, 
and as Job did the tidings of 
calami tj'. The word of the Lord is 
' good. ' 


and the praj'ers made bj^ Church 
and nation for him, which God 

2. The teacher should explain 
that it was not to punish Hezekiah's 
vain display that the Jews were to 
be carried captive to Babylon. He 
is told M'hat will happen in the 
future (owing to the sins of others) 
as a rebuke to his pride. And this 
rebuke is an act of love. Hezekiah 
was a good man, but God would 
make him better still. 

3. Illustrate Hezekiah's resigna- 
tion by the example of Job, by the 
petition, 'Thy will be done,' and 
by Rom. xii. 2. 



Lesson XXXV — continued. God's Lessons to Hezekiah 
Matter. Method. 

All that the king asks for is that 
in his own day, the fragment of time 
in which he has responsibility, there 
may be -peace and truth ; security 
from both outward and inward 
enemies. The future he is willing 
to leave in God's hands. 

Cf. our Lord's warnings against 
over-anxiety for the future (S. 
Matt. vi. 25-34). 

Blackboakd Sketch. 

God's Lessons to Hezekiah. 

1. Sickness, mortal, 

but cured in answer to prayer. 
Life and death are in the hands of God. 
God alone can really heal disease. 

2. Rebuke to Vanity. 

Hezekiah showed his treasures to men 

from Babylon. 
God tells him that all his wealth will be 

carried to Babylon. 
All riches come from God alone. 

3. Hezekiah's answer. 

He accepts the will of God. 
He prays for peace and truth in his own 

' God spake once, and twice also have I heard the 
same, that power belongeth unto God.' 


2 KINGS XXI. 1-16; 2 CHRON. XXXIII. 11-25 

2 KINGS XXI. 1-16 ; 2 CHRON. XXXIII. 11-25 

1 an Aslierah. 

a 1 Kings viii. 

'■^ practised 

I) Ezek. viii. 3-5, 

MANASSEH was twelve years old when he began to 
reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. 
And his mother's name was Hephzi-bah. 2. And 
he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, 
after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord 
cast out before the children of Israel. 3. For he built up 
again the high places which Hezekiah his father had 
destroyed ; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made ^ a 
grove, as did Ahab king of Israel ; and worshipped all 
the host of heaven, and served them. 4. And he built 
altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord said, 
"in Jerusalem will I put my name, 5. And he built 
altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the 
house of the Lord. 6. And he made his son pass through 
the fire, and ^ observed times, and used enchantments, and 
dealt with familiar spirits and wizards : he wrought much 
wickedness in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to 
anser. 7. ''And he set a graven image of the srove that 

1, Reigned fifty and five years. This is the longest reign in the sacred 
history ; and was the turning-point in the history of Judah for evil ; for 
it was a deliberate return to the abominations of Ahaz, in the face of all 
that Hezekiah had done, and the deliverance whicli God had given from 
the Assyrian. Not even Manasseh's late repentance could undo the evil 
he had done, nor could the righteous reign of his successor Josiah av^ert 
the captivity. 

6. And lie made Ms son pass through the fire. See note on p. 264. The 
Chronicler tells us where this abominable sacrifice was offered, ' the valley 
of the son of Hinnoni," the valley also called Tophet, on the south of 
Jerusalem ; afterwards used by the Jews as a place for burning refuse, 
from which its name ' Gehenna ' came to be applied to the place of eternal 

Dealt with familiar spirits. More literally * those that had familiar 
spirit.s,' i.e. those who in reality or pretence delivered oracles by the help 
of evil spirits, which were supposed to dwell within the wizard or witch, 
or, at an}' rate, to be at his or her beck and call. The 'mediums' of 
spiritualism are exactly parallel. Cf. 1 Sam. xxviii. and the reff, in 


he had made in the house, <■ of Avhich the Lord said to c 2 Sam. vii. 
David, and to Solomon his son. In this house, and in 
Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all tribes of Israel, 
will I put my name for ever : 8. Neither will I make the 
feet of Israel ^ move any more out of the land which I ^ wander. 
gave their fathers ; only if they will observe to do accord- 
ing to all that I have commanded them, and according to 
all the law that my servant Moses commanded them. 
9. But they hearkened not : and Manasseh seduced them 
to do more evil than did the nations whom the Lord 
destroyed before the children of Israel. 10. And the 
Lord spake by his servants the prophets, saying, 11. Be- 
cause Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abomina- 
tions, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites 
did, which ivere before him, and hath made Judah also to 
sin with his idols : 12. Therefore thus saith the Lord 
God of Israel, Behold, I a7n bringing such evil upon Jeru- 
salem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, ''both his d 1 Sam iii. 11. 
ears shall tingle. 13. And I will stretch over Jerusalem 
the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of 
Ahab : and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, 
wiping it, and turning it upside down. 14. And I will 
forsake the remnant of mine inheritance, and deliver them 
into the hand of their enemies ; and they shall become a 
prey and a spoil to all their enemies ; 15. Because they 
have done that which ivas evil in my sight, and have pro- 
voked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth 

11. Above all that the Amorites did. The Amorites are mentioned 
here as in (len. xv. 16 as a collective name for the inhabitants of Canaan, 
who were destroyed )jy God before the Israelites under Joshua as a 
punishment for their sins, especially their abominable superstitions. See 
Deut. xviii. 9-14. 

13. The line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahah. The 
line and the plummet are the symbols of the builder's art. Here they 
are used with terrible irony to denote the very opposite of building — 
utter destruction such as alread}^ had befallen Samaria, and before that 
time the family of Ahab. Cf. Isa. xxxiv. 11, 'the line of confusion' (the 
opposite of ' order ') ' and the plummet of emptiness.' 


2 KINGS XXI. 1-16; 2 CHRON. XXXIII. 11-25 

■i in chains, 

out of EgyiDt, even unto this day. 16. Moreover Manasseh 
e chap. xxiv. 4. e q}^q^ innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jeru- 
salem from one end to another ; beside his sin wherewith 
he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the 
sight of the Lord. 

2 CHRON. XXXIII. 11. Wherefore the Lord 
brought upon them the captains of the host of the king 
of Assyria, which took Manasseh ^ among the thorns, and 
bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. 12. 
And when he was affliction, he besought the Lord his 
God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his 
fathers, 13. And prayed unto him : and he was intreated 
of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again 
to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew 
that the Lord he was God. 14. Now after this he built a 
wall without the city of David, on the west side of -^Gihon, in 
the valley, even to the entering in at ^ the fish gate, and com- 
passed about ^ Ophel, and raised it up a very great height, 
and put captains of war in all the fenced cities of Judah. 
15. And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out 
of the house of the Lord, and all the altars that he had 
built in the mount of the house of the Lord, and in 
Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city. 16. And he 

/ 1 Kings i. 33, 
g Zeph. i. 10. 
h chap, xxvii. 

16. Moreover Manasseli shed innocent blood. Probably this Avas an 
attempt to exterminate those who protested against the king's idolatries. 
Tradition says that the prophets were the special victims of Manasseh's 
cruelty, and among them the aged Isaiah, who was sawn asunder by the 
king's orders. Cf . Heb. xi. 37. 

2 Chron. XXXIII. 11. Among the thorns. This obscure expression pro- 
bably refers to the indignities that the Assyrians put upon their captives, 
leading them al)Out with hooks in their noses, as portrayed on the monu- 
ments. Other versions simply render the phrase 'alive.' 

And carried him to Babylon. Esar-haddon, the successor of Sen- 
nacherib, made Babylon a royal residence in addition to Nineveh. This 
captivity of Manasseh is not mentioned at all in Kings. Probably it 
took place in the later years of his reign, and may have been omitted by 
the earlier historian as not bearing upon the general character of 
Manasseh's reign and its effect. Perhaps, too, the Chronicler may have 
seen in it a type of the subsequent captivity of the whole nation, and 
their repentance, in Babylon. 

AMON 321 

repaired the altar of the Lord and sacrificed i thereon 

I)eace offerings and thank ofi'erings, and commanded Judah 

to serve the Lord God of Israel. 17. Nevertheless the 

people did sacrifice still in the high places, yet unto the 

Lord their God only. 18. Now the rest of the acts of 

Manasseh, and his prayer unto his God, and the words 

of the seers that spake to him in the name of the Lord 

God of Israel, behold, they are tvritten ^ in the book of the s among the 

kings of Israel. 19. His prayer also, and hovj God was ' 

intreated of him, and all his sins, and his trespass, and the 

places wherein he built high places, and set up ^ groves ^ Asherim. 

and graven images, before he was humbled : behold, they 

are written ''among the saying-s of the seers. 20. So ''' l" the history 

. ^ . of Hozai [Marg. 

Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the seers]. 
his own house : and Amon his son reigned in his stead, 
21, Amon was two and twenty years old when he began to 
reign, and reigned two years in Jerusalem. 22. But he 
did that which ivas evil in the sight of the Lord, as did 
Manasseh his father : for Amon sacrificed unto all the 
carved images which Manasseh his father had made, and 
served them ; 23. And humbled not himself l^efore the 
Lord, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself ; but 

18, Behold, they are written. In this and in the following verse the 
Chronicler refers to two sources of information which were evidently 
existing in his time, but which now have perished. It is doubtful 
whether ' seers ' is a proper name (see R, V. ). No such writer is mentioned 

It is interesting to note a later production in the Apocrypha, ' The 
Praj'er of Manasses,' which, though not considered authentic, is never- 
theless a very beautiful composition, breathing a spirit of deepest 

20, They buried him in his own house. This is further explained in 
Kings, in the case both of Manasseh and Amon, by saying that this 
private burial-place was 'in the garden of L^zza,' This seems to have 
been used as the royal burial-place from this time instead of * the tombs 
of the kings,' 

22, As did Manasseh his father, i.e. before his repentance. Evidently 
Amon did not learn any lesson from this, but proceeded to restore 
idolati-y. How extensive was this restoration, even in so .short a reign, 
can be seen from the catalogue of idols and altars destroyed by Josiah. 
In what state Amon left the kingdom can Ije seen from the prophet 


2 KINGS XX. 1-16 ; 2 CHRON. XXXIII. 11-25 

Anion trespassed more and more. 24. And his servants 

conspired against him, and sleM^ him in his own house. 

25. But the peojDle of the land slew all them that had 

conspired against king Anion ; and the peojDle of the land 

made Josiah his son king in his stead. 

Zephaniah, whose book should here be read, and from the early chapters 
of Jeremiah. Anion is not, however, said to have shed ' innocent blood,' 
and his murder was evidently not a popular act (see ver. 25). 



1. Disobedience. 

Manasseh's religious policy seems 
to have been a deliberate reversal 
of what his father had done. Doubt- 
less the latter had not carried with 
him the hearts of the majority of 
the people, who still secretly 
cherished the old idolatries and 
superstitions. They were quite 
ready to welcome a change from 
the severer ideals of Hezekiah and 

But there was a minority whose 
hearts were faithful, and their 
opposition was crushed by persecu- 
tion. This was the peculiar horror 
of the reign of Manasseh. He ' shed 
innocent blood.' When the true 
ideal of national worship had once 
been clearly manifested in Heze- 
kiah, to turn deliberately from it 
was not only a greater sin than 
before, but it led to other and worse 

2. The end of God's patience. 

Tlie deliberate apostasy of Manas- 
seh and his people brought about 
what the Assyrians could not do. 
No harm can happen to the Church 
(jf God in any age except from 

The same penalty which had 
fallen upon tlie Amorites and upon 
the ten tribes when their iniquity 
was full, must now fall upon 
Judah and Jerusalem, though, in 


1. Contrast Manasseh's conduct 
with that of his father Hezekiah. 
Besides being a repetition of the 
past sins of kings like Ahaz, it was 
a breach of the Fifth Command- 
ment. He had had the light of a 
good example from a holy parent, 
and turned away from it. 

Show that a deliberate sin never 
ends in itself ; it usually leads to 
others. Mannaseh's idolatry leads 
to bloodshed. 

So Henry viii. , whose laM^ was his 
own self-indulgence, -who stripped 
the Church of her possessions under 
the hypocritical mask of religion, 
could not stop there, but shed 
righteous blood — the Carthusians, 
Sir Thomas More, Bishop Fisher, 
and many more. 

2. It is possible to provoke God 
by deliberate sin, so that His 
patience is exhausted. 

Illustrate by — 

The murmurings of the Israelites 

in the wilderness (N\im. xiv.). 

The sins of the heathen (Gen. 

XV. IG ; 1 Sam. xv. ). 
See also S. Luke xiii. 6-9 ; 
Bom. ii. 8-9 ; 
Rev. vi. 15-17. 



Lesson XXXVI — coniinued. Manasseh 

the case of the latter, God for 
the honour of His Name, for the 
maintenance of His promises and 
purposes, suffered their captivity 
to be only temporary, remedial, 
and not retributive only. 
3. Manasseh's repentance. 

This is one of the most remark- 
able things in the history of the 
kings of Judah. The lessons of the 
past had not been wholly lost on 
the son of Hezekiah. He recog- 
nised in this preliminary punish- 
ment Avhich fell on him the hand of 
the God whom he despised. He 
had grace to repent, and, when re- 
stored to his kingdom, to show that 
his repentance was real by trying 
to abolish the idolatries for which 
he had been largely responsible. 
His repentance availed for himself 
personally, and brought a tem- 
porary respite for his people. Yet 
it could not do away either the sins 
of Judah or the penalty which God's 
justice had determined to inflict. 


3. Describe Manasseh carried in 
chains to Babylon, remen)bering in 
his prison the example of Hezekiah, 
his own misuse of his position, the 
sins he had committed himself and 
caused others to commit. 

Describe his repentance, prayer, 
and forgiveness. 

But be careful to point out that 
his repentance could not undo the 
past, nor remove the results of his 
sin from his nation. 

Illustrate by the repentance of 

Cf. S. Matt, xviii. 6, 7. 

Repentance may deliver from 
eternal death, but it cannot take 
away the necessity of punishment. 

See Ps. xcix. 8. 
Jer. xlvi. 28. 

Blackboard Sketch. 

His disobedience 

to God, 

to the example of Hezekiah. 
Restored idolatry ; dishonoured the Temple ; 
shed innocent blood. 
The end of God's patience. 

When men deliberately go on in sin and dis- 
obedience, there comes a time when God 
must punish them. 
Manasseh 's repentance. 

He was carried in chains to Babylon. 
There he repented and Mas forgiven. 
But he could not undo all the evil he had 
Punishment must come, though long delayed. 

324 2 KINGS XXII. 

2 KINGS XXII. ; XXIII. 1-28 ; 2 CHRON. XXXY. 20-27 

JOSIAH was eight years old when he began to reign, 
and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. 
And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of 
a Josh. XV. 30. Adaiah of " Boscath. 2. And he did that which ivas right 
in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of 
David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand 
or to the left. 3. And it came to pass in the eighteenth 
year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan the son of 
Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of 
the Lord, saying, 4. Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, 
that he may sum the silver which is brought into the 
house of the Lord, which the keepers of the door have 
gathered of the people : 5. And let them deliver it into 
the hand of the doers of the work, that have the over- 
sight of the house of the Lord : and let them give it to 

2 Kings xxii. 1. Josiah. This is, in some respects, the most interesting 
reign of Jewish history. The king's j'outhfiil devotion to the true religion, 
his consistent reformations whidi came too late to save his people, and 
his premature and tragic end, combine to make a striking historical 
figure, which has been compared (most inappropriately) to our own 
Edward vi., but with much greater fitness to S. Oswald. (See a remark- 
able sermon by the late Bishop Lightfoot, in Leaders of the Northern 
Church. ) 

The later Jewish estimate of Josiah is expressed by the son of Sirach. 
' The memorial of Josiah is like the composition of incense prepared by 
the work of tlie apothecary : it shall be sweet as honej^ in every mouth, 
and as music at a banquet of wine,' etc. (Ecclus. xlix. 1). 

3. In the eighteenth year of king Josiah. The Chronicler gives two 
other previous events of the reign, viz., that in the eiglith j-ear, Josiah 
'began to seek after the God of David his father' (probably through the 
influence of the prophet Zephaniah), and in the twelfth year he loegan 
his work of the destruction of idolatry. It should be noticed also that 
Jeremiah began to prophecy in the tl)irteenth year of Josiah. 

It is evident, from the wording of ver. 4, that the restoration of the 
Temple had been in the king's mind for some time previously. Some of 
tliis money, we learn from the Chronicler's account, had been contributed 
by ' Manasseli and Ephraim,' i.e. by those Israelites who had been left 
behind by the Assyrians in the northern kingdom, and had been led by 
adversity to seek the Temple at Jerusalem again. 


the doers of the work which is in the house of the Lord, 
to repair the breaches of the house, 6. Unto carpenters, 
and builders, and masons, and to buy timber and hewn 
stone to repair the house. 7. Howbeit there was no 
reckoning made with them of the money that was de- 
livered into their hand, because they dealt faithfully. 
8. And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the 
scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of 
the Lord. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and 
he read it. 9. And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, 
and brought the king word again, and said. Thy servants 
have gathered the money that was found in the house, and 
have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, 
that have the oversight of the house of the Lord. 10. And 
Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the 
priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it 
before the king, -11. And it came to pass, when the king 
had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent 

8. I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. This 
was a remarkable and important event, as it led directly to the more 
thorough reformation which Josiah now set on foot. We are not to 
suppose that this ' book of the law ' was the Pentateuch in the exact 
form that we now possess it. It is uncertain at what date the different 
documents which form the first five or six books of the Bible were put 
together in their present shape ; probably not till after the Captivity, 
by the exertions of Ezra aud Nehemiah. It was, no doubt, some 
striking portion of the Pentateuch which Avas found by Hilkiah. The 
many side- chambers of the Temple would supply hiding-places where 
the roll, either from neglect or fear of its destruction, might have been 
deposited, and then forgotten. It is generally assumed that this roll 
contained the Book of Deuteronomy, which forms a complete whole in 
itself, and which is expressly stated to have ])een written by Moses 
himself (Deut. xxxi. 24). It is cpiite conceivable that the roll was the 
original written by Moses some eight hundred years before. Our 
oldest MSS. of the New Testament are nearly twice that age. The 
warnings and curses found in this roll, which so moved the fear of the 
king, would tally very well with those in Deut. xxviii., though there 
is a very similar passage in Lev. xxvi. Whatever the roll exactly was, 
Hilkiah evidently recognises it, and expresses no great surprise. There 
is no reasonable doubt that Isaiah and Micah were well acquainted with 
Deuteronomy (Isaiah l)cgins his prophecy (i. 2) with what is ai)parently a 
quotation from it). We may therefore assume that the neglect of the 
book had coincided with the profanation of the Temple during the long 
reign of Manasseh. 

326 2 KINGS XXII. 

his clothes. 12. And the king commanded Hilkiah the 
priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the 
son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a 
servant of the king's, saying, 13. Go ye, enquire of the 
Lord fot me, and for the people, and for all Judah, con- 
cerning the words of this book that is found : for great is 
the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because 
our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this 
book, to do according unto all that which is written con- 
cerning us. 14. So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and 
Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah 
the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the 
son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe ; (now she dwelt in 
1 in the second Jerusalem ^ in the college ;) and they communed with her. 
15. And she said unto them. Thus saith the Lord God of 
Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me, 16. Thus saith 
the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and 
upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book 
which the king of Judah hath read : 17. Because they 
have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other 
gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the 

11. He rent Ms clothes. Contrast this with the profane and con- 
temptuous way in which Josiah's son treated the warnings of the prophet 
Jeremiah (Jer. xxxvi. 28, 24). It is interesting to note that one of those 
who besought Jehoiakim not to burn the roll was Gemariah, the son of 
that Shaphan, who read 'the book of the law' to Josiah (ver. 10). 

14. Huldah the prophetess. Unknown except from this passage, and 
the only true proplietess mentioned in the Old Testament except Miriam 
and Deljorali. Isaiah's wife is called the prophetess, but apparently only 
as being the wife of a prophet ; and there is a false prophetess, Noadiah, 
mentioned by Nehemiah as one of his adversaries (vi. 14). Huldah Avas 
evidently at this time the reco.unised exponent of the will of God by 
prophecy. Jeremiah had already connnenced his ministry at Anathoth, 
but his prominence in Jerusalem belongs to a later period. 

Keeper of the wardrobe. Probably the Levite who had charge of the 
vestments of the priests. 

The college. See Revised Version. Some outlying part of the city 
which cannot now be identified. 

16. All the words of the book. The Chronicler says, 'all the curses,' 
which would be applical^le to Deuteronomy. 


works of their hands ; therefore my wrath shall be kindled 
against this place, and shall not be quenched. 18. But to 
the king- of Judah which sent you to enquire of the Lord, 
thus shall ye say to him. Thus saith the Lord God of 
Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard ; 19. 
Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled 
thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake 
against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof 
that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast 
rent thy clothes, and wept before me ; I also have heard 
thee, saith the Lord. 20. Behold therefore, I will gather 
thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy 
grave in peace ; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil 
which I will bring upon this place. And they brought 
the king word again. 

XXIII. 1. And the king sent, and they gathered unto 
him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. 2. And the 
king went up into the house of the Lord, and all the men 
of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, 
and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both 
small and great : and he read in their ears all the words of 
the book of the covenant which was found in the house of 
the Lord. 3. And ^ the king stood by a pillar, and made a fc 2Chron.xxiii. 
covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to 
keep his commandments and his testimonies and his 
statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to ^ perform '^ confirni. 
the words of this covenant that were written in this book. 
And all the people stood to the covenant. 4. And the 
king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests 
of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring 
forth out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels that 
were made for Baal, and for ^ the grove, and for all the =* the Asherah. 
host of heaven : and he burned them without Jerusalem 
in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto 

20. Thou Shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace. Though Josiah 
fell in battle, and in the liour of defeat, even that was a peaceable ending 
compared with the exile and dishonoured deaths of his successors. 

328 2 KINGS XXIII. 1-28 

Beth-el. 5. And he put down the idohitrous priests, 
whom the kings of Judah had ordained to hurn incense in 
tlie hi.uh places in the cities of Judah, and in the places 
round about Jerusalem ; them also that burned incense 
unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, 

^ Ashcraii. and to all the host of heaven. 6. And he brought out ^ the 
grove from the house of the Lord, without Jerusalem, 
unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, 
and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder 

5 the graves of thereof upon ^ the graves of the children of the people. 

tlie common' 

people in. 7. And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that 

were by the house of the Lord, where the women wove 

hangings for ^ the grove. 8. And he brought all the priests 

out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where 

the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beer-sheba, 

and brake down the high places of the gates that were in 

the entering in of the gate of Joshua the governor of the 

city, which ivere on a man's left hand at the gate of the 

city. 9. Nevertheless the priests of the high places came 

not up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but they did 

eat of the unleavened bread among their brethren. 10. 

And he defiled TojDheth, wdiich is in the vallc}^ of the 

children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or 

XXIII. 5. The idolatrous priests. These are alluded to by Zephaniah 
(i. 4), and by Hosea (x. 5), as the priests of the calf-worship. The 
name is Chemarim, a word that onl}^ occurs in these three places. The 
Avord seems to imply ' l^lack-robed.' 

7. Hangings for the grove. Apparently ' tabernacles ' were erected for 
these idolatrous emblems (of. Ezek. xvi. 16), This may have been in 
imitation of the Mosaic tabernacle, or perhaps a sanctuary of this sort 
was of pre-historic origin, and God, as in so many other cases, allowed 
Moses to adopt a custom which was alread_y familiar to the Israelites. 

8. The high places of the gates. 'High places' evidently gained a 
wid(T meaning than the original one of an altar erected on some natural 
eminence. Here the allusion evidently is to some unauthorised altar 
erected in the open places by the gates of the city, a place of resort and 
of the administration of justice. 

0. The priests of the high places. These were priests of Jehovah, and 
permitted to live still on the usual offerings made for the support of the 
priesthood, but as their ministrations had ))een contrary to the Law, they 
were not allowed to minister at the altar for the future. 


his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech. 11. And 

he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given 

to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the Lord, 

by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which 

ivas in the "suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun e precincts. 

with lire. 12. And the altars that were on the top of the 

upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had 

made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the 

two courts of the house of the Lord, did the king beat 

down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust 

of them into the brook Kidron. 13, And the high places 

that ivere before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand 

of the mount of corruption, '^ which Solomon the king of c i Kings xi. 

Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of 

the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the 

Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children 

of Amnion, did the king defile. 14. And he brake in 

pieces the •" images, and cut down ^ the groves, and filled '< pillars, 

8 Aslierim. 

their places with the bones of men. 15. Moreover the 
altar that was at Beth-el, and the high place which Jero- 

11. The horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun. Sun- 
worship was one of the most widely-spread cults of the ancient world. 
The sun's daily course was poetically and symbolical!}^ represented by a 
chariot, not only in the East but in Greek and Roman literature, from 
whence it has become one of our most familiar and harmless similes. 
Apparently sacred horses had been provided to draw a real chariot, 
carrying no doubt the idol representing the sun-god, in solemn pro- 

The suburbs. Probably some residence of the official mentioned, which 
adjoined the temple. 

13. The mount of corruption. That district of the Mount ol Olives 
where .Solomon's buildings, the beginnings of idolatry in Judah, were 
still standing. Milton several times alludes to this place under various 
names; 'that opprobrious hill,' 'that hill of scandal," 'the offensive 

U. Filled their places with the bones of men. Thus making them 
ceremonially unclean, so that religious worship could never again be 
offered on the spot. 

15. Moreover the altar that was at Beth-el, This is a most remarkable 
and circumstantial account of the fulfilment of tlie prophecy of the name- 
less prophet of 1 Kings xiii. Apparently the altar was still used, in 
accordance with the evil traditions handed down to the Samaritans, 


2 KINGS XXIII. 1-28 

9 Asherah 

boam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, 
both that altar and the high place he brake down, and 
burned the high place, and stamped it small to powder, 
and burned the " grove. 16. And as Josiah turned himself, 
he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and 
sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned 
them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word 
of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed, who pro- 
claimed these words. 17. Then he said, What ^^ title is 
that that I see ? And the men of the city told him, It is 
the sepulchre of <^ the man of God, which came from Judah, 
and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against 
the altar of Beth-el. 18. And he said. Let him alone ; let 
no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with 
the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria. 19. 
And all the houses also of the high places that were in the 

10 nionunient. 

d 1 Kings xiii. 
30, 31. 

provoke the LORD to anger, Josiah took away, and did to 
them according to all the acts that he had done in Beth-el. 
20. And he slew all the priests of the high places that ivere 
there upon the altars, and burned men's bones upon them, 
and returned to Jerusalem. 21. And the king commanded 
all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto the Lord 
your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant. 
22. Surely there was not holden such a passover from the 

though the original golden calves had been carried away by the 
Assyrians, being valuable. (See Hosea x. 6.) 

21. Keep the passover. The longer account of this passover given by 
the Chronicler should be consulted. It was evidently the king's intention 
not to liavc a ne(jafire reformation only (such as a good deal of what 
passed for ' reformation ' in England in the sixteenth century really was) 
but a positive one also, restoring the true worship of Jehovah according 
to the Law. 

22. Surely there was not holden such a passover. A similar remark is 
made by the Chronicler, although he had previously recorded the great 
passover of Hez;ekiah, wliich is not mentioned in Kings. By it is meant 
that no passover ever held was so remarkable as this, or so exactly in 
accordance with the Law. It will be remembered that even Hezekiah's 
passover was somewhat irregular, being kept in the second month 
instead of the first, and in some cases without the proper purifications. 


days of the judges that judged Israel, uor in all the days of 
the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah ; 23. But 
in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, ivhereiii this pass- 
over was liolden to the Lord in Jerusalem. 24. Moreover 
the workers with ftiniiliar spirits, and tlie wizards, and the 
1^ images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were lUheteraphim. 
spied in the land of Judali and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put 
away, that he might ^-perform the words of the law which 12 confirm. 
were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in 
the house of the Lord. 25. And like unto him was there 
no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his 
heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, accord- 
ing to all the law of Moses ; neither after him arose there 
any like him. 26. Notwithstanding the Lord turned not 
from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger 
Avas kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations 
that Manasseh had provoked him withal. 27. And the 
Lord said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I 
have removed Israel, and will cast off this city of Jerusalem 
which I have chosen, and the house of which I said. My 
name shall be there. 28. Now the rest of the acts of 
Josiah, and all that he did, are they not written in the 
book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah ? 

2 CHRON. XXXV. 20. After all this, when Josiah 
had prepared the temple, *^ Necho king of Egypt came up 21)" 30. '^ ' 

24. The images. See Revised Version. These ' teraphim ' were among 
the most ancient relics of the pre-historic worship of Israel, and were 
clung to secretly for many ages after a purer worship had been estab- 
lished. They were apparently little images of household gods, perhaps 
of ancestors, which stood by the hearth, and were even carried about on 
the person. Cf. Gen. xxxi. 10; 1 Sam. xix. 13, 1(3. They were used for 
purposes of divination as well as worship. Somewhat similar perhaps 
were the images of idols which were found on the bodies of the Jews 
slain in the army of Judas Maccabreus (2 Mace, xii, 40-45), a sin for which 
he piously atoned by prayers and sacrifices offered for the souls of the 

2 Chron, XXXV, 20, Necho king of Egypt. This was Neco 11,, who 
reigned 611-595 b,c. This expedition to Carchemish (610 b.c.) was 
against the Assyrians (2 Kings xxiii. 29), who were now being hard 
pressed by the Babylonians, who captured Nineveh three years later. 
The interference of the Egyptians in Eastern affairs was brought to an 

332 2 CHRON. XXXV. 20-27 

to fight against Charchemisli by Euphrates : and Josiah 
went out against him. 21. But he sent ambassadors to 
him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of 
Judah ? I come not against thee this day, but against the 
house wherewith I have war : for God commanded me to 
make haste : forbear thee from meddling wifh God, who is 
wdth me, that he destroy thee not. 22. Nevertheless Josiah 
would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, 
that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the 
words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight 
/Judges V. n>. in -^ the valley of Megiddo. 23. And the archers shot at king 
Josiah ; and the king said to his servants, Have me away ; 
for I am sore wounded. 24. His servants therefore took 
him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot 
that he had ; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he 
died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers. 
And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. 25. 

end in 605 by the victory of Nebuchadnezzar over Neco, which brought 
the whole country west of the Euphrates into the power of the new 
empire of Babylon. It seems probable that on this occasion the Egyp- 
tians did not come by the ordinary coast road through Palestine, but 
by sea and landed in the north. 

21. For God commanded me to make haste. It is to be noted that the 
Pharaoh does not use the proper naine 'Jehovah,' as Rab-shakch had 
done, but a general word, which would include the objects of his own 
worsliip. Although a heathen, his words were a Divine warning 
(ver. 22). 

22. The valley of Megiddo. The most remarkable battlefield in history 
(see Ileh-eio Monarchy, vol. i. p. 168). Perhaps, with allusion to this 
defeat of Josiah, Armageddon, 'the hill of Megiddo,' is the name given 
in Rev. xvi. 16 to the scene of the final world-conflict between God's 
people and the powers of evil. 

24. The second chariot that he had. Perhaps a more commodious one, 
or more suited U)v travelling. 

And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. This mourning was 
of so remarkable a character that the prophet Zechariah gives it as a 
type of tlie final repentance of Israel, when they look on Him ' whom they 
have pierced' (Zech. xii. 10-14). 

Something of an historical parallel may be seen in the lamentations 
still preserved (see Milman, Latin Clwintianitij, iii. 347) over the young 
and noble-minded Emperor Otto til, who was poiscmed at Rome, 
1002 A.I)., and whose body was carried home to Aachen, across the Alps, 
by his sorrowing followers. ' No one else so forgot the present to live in 



And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah : and all ^ the sincrincf a S. Matt. ix. 
men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their 
lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in 
Israel : and, behold, they are written in the lamentations. 
26. Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his goodness, 
according to that which was written in the law of the 
Lord, 27. And his deeds, first and last, behold, they are 
written in the book of the kings of Israel and Jiidah. 

the light of the ancient order ; no other soul was so possessed by that 
fervid mysticism and that reverence for the glories of the past, whereon 
rested the idea of the mediieval empire ' (Bryce). 

25. Behold, they are written in the lamentations. The reference is 
not, apparently, to the Lamentations of Jeremiah, which is concerned 
entirely with the fall of Jerusalem and the Captivity, but to some lost 
collection of national dirges. 



1. Josiah's reverence for God's 

See note on ver. 8 for the mean- 
ing of the 'book of the Law,' which 
Hilkiah found in the Temple. The 
Jews, like ourselves, inherited not 
only a traditional religion, and a 
manner of worship, but also a 
loritten revelation from God. It 
came to them through human hands, 
through the medium of human per- 
sonalities, but was in its essence 
the Word of God, having an autho- 
rit}' different from and higher than 
all other books, however good. It 
is difficult to state with any degree 
of certainty what amount of the 
Jewish Law was actually in writing 
at this or any of the earlier moments 
of Jewish history. But it is quite 
certain that some suchAvritings had 
been in existence since the time of 
Moses, that righteous rulers had 
modelled their conduct on them, 
that Manasseh and his apostate 


1. The details of the finding of the 
book of the Law will be interesting 
to children ; the description should 
be followed b}' recapitulation of the 
history of the Law. 

See Dent. xxxi. 24-29 ; 
Josh. i. 8 ; 
2 Kings xi. 12. 

The teacher should then contrast 
the limited character of the Law as 
it existed in Josiah's time with 
Holy Scripture as the Catholic 
Church has received it. 

For the reverence which slum Id 
be given to the Bible cf. our Lord's 
own use of it — e.g. in the Tempta- 
tion, in confuting the Pharisees, 
and such passages as — 

2 Tim. iii. 14-17. 
2S. Peter i. 10-21. 

A further and most important 
lesson is suggested by Josiah's en- 
quiry of the prophetess. Scripture 
needs an interpreter, and God along 
with the Bible has given us the 



Lesson XXXVII — continued. Josiah 


priests had disregarded and forgot- 
ten them, perhaps tried to destroy 
the copies. Josiah shows a true 
reverence for the book when it is 
found, listens to its words with 
penitence, and then (which is impor- 
tant to notice) he turns to the 
prophetess, the living voice of the 
church, for their further explanation. 
Josiah is thus a t^'pical example of 
the right attitude towards Holy 

2. Josiah's obedience. 

The reformation of national re- 
ligion which Josiah undertook after 
the Law had been read publicly, 
was the most thorough in the his- 
tory of the kingdom, and is given 
with remarkable fulness of detail. 
It extended even to the territory 
once occupied by the northern 
kingdom, the altar at Beth-el being 
destroyed infulfilmentof the ancient 

Josiah's obedience to the Law is 
the more remarkable because he had 
already learned from the prophetess 
that, from a national point of view, 
it would be of no avail to avert the 
judgments of (iod. It was there- 
fore carried out for the pure love of 
God, and as an act of penitence for 
the past. Josiah desired to do all 
that was possible, even though it 
could bring no material advantage, 
and this is doubtless the reason why 
he receives (xxiii. 25) the highest 
praise bestowed on any king of 

3. Josiah's end. 

The circumstances of Josiah's 
death are pathetic, and also difficult 
to understand. It is certainly 
stated to have been an act of pre- 
sumption on his part to provoke a 
battle with Necho. The warning of 
the latter, unknown to himself, 
came 'from tlie mouth of God'; 
and yet Josiah's early death was an 


Church. Without the interpreta- 
tion given by the Church we are 
sure to misunderstand or pervert 
the Bible. 

See Acts viii. 31 and 34. 
2 S. Peter iii. 16. 

2. The fulfilment of prophecj' in 
Josiah's reformation should be 
pointed out. 

From the disinterestedness of 
Josiah's work the important lesson 
should be drawn that we should 
always aim at the highest possible, 
even if no earthly good will come 
to us from it. Josiah had his 
reward in another world, though 
no measures of reform could avert 
God's judgment in this world. 

To do good and receive no 
earthly reward, or even to sufifer 
for doing good, is pointed out to us 
in Scripture as the worthiest course 

SeeS. Matt. v. 10-12; 
1 S. Peter ii. 19, 20; 
iii. 14-17. 

3. Sec Wisdom iii. 1-9. 
iv. 7-16'. 

The Life of S. Oswald, as sug- 
gested in the notes, would form an 
interesting illustration to this les- 
son. His zeal for the conversion of 
his people, his missionary journeys 
with S. Aidan, acting himself as 
interpreter, his early and appar- 
ently premature death at the hands 



Lesson XXXVII — continued. Josiah 

act of Divine mercy, he was ' taken 
away from the evil to come.' And 
it was a fulfilment of prophecy. 
An end like his on the field of battle, 
and an honourable burial in the 
sepulchres of the kings, was an end 
of 'peace,' compared with the 
deaths of his successors, in exile and 

Only God can know the work 
which His servants really accom- 
plish, not only during their life- 
time, but afterwards. No death is 
really premature in God's eyes, nor 
any work for God ever lost. 

of the heathen, are all remarkable 
parallels. And in the case of both 
it may certainly be believed that 
their work bore much fruit after 
their death. Though Josiah's im- 
mediate successors were so evil, his 
example would be remembered when 
the sufferings of the Captivity had 
taught the Jews their lesson of 
obedience to the law of God. 

Oswald's work seemed cut short 
by his death ; but it was one of the 
most important factors in the ulti- 
mate conversion of England. 

Blackboard Sketch. 


The best of all the kings. 
Reverence for God's Wotrl. 

When the book of the Law was found, he 
heard it with faith and penitence. He 
sought the guidance of the prophetess 
Huldah to understand it. 

The Church helps us to a right under- 
standing of the Bible. 


What he found written in the book of the 
Law he tried to do with his whole heart, 
and make his people do, through pure love 
of God. 

His early death 

Seemed sad to men, but his work on eartli 
was done ; it would bear fruit afterwards. 
His reward was in heaven with God. 

336 2 CHRON. XXXVI. 1-21 

2 CHRON. XXXVI. 1-21 

THEN the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of 
Josiah, and made him king in his father's stead in 
Jerusalem. 2. Jehoahaz ivas twenty and three years 
old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months 

1 deposed him. in Jerusalem. 3. And the king of Egypt ^ put him down 

2 amerced. at Jerusalem, and ^ condemned the land in an hundred 

talents of silver and a talent of gold. 4. And the king of 
Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and 
Jerusalem, and turned his name to Jehoiakim. And 
Necho took Jehoahaz his brother, and carried him to 
Egypt. 5. Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old wdien 
he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jeru- 
salem : and he did that which was evil in the sight of the 
Lord his God. G. Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar 
king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters, to carry him 

1. Jehoahaz. From the fact that this was a younger son of Josiah, it 
would seem proliable that he was elected by tlie people, in preference to 
Eliakim, as being a patriot and au opponent of Egj'pt. Jehoahaz is also 
called Shallum. 

On this and the three following kings the Book of Jeremiah should be 
referred to, especially chap, xxii., which is a lament for the three kings, 
Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, and Jehoiachin. Of the first Jeremiah speaks with 
tender pity as the exile who ' shall return no more, nor see his native 
country. ' 

4. And turned his name to Jehoiakim. These changes of names were 
apparently intended as a sign of the subjection of the kings of Judah to 
those who had changed them. Jehoiakim is the same as Eliakim, with 
the substitution of tlie sacred name ' Jah ' for ' El ' (god). 

And he did that which was evil. See Jer. xxii., where Jehoiakim is 
described as a l)uildcr of magnificent palaces by fraud and injustice, as 
one given to covetousncss, and a shedder of 'innocent blood.' See also 
Jer. xxvi. and xxxvi. for his treatment of the prophets. 

Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. The first mention of the famous 
Babylonian monaich, wlio came to the throne in 604, immediately after 
the battle of Carchemisli. The account in Kings gives more exact details. 
Jehoiakim was apparently not actually taken to Babylon, but released 
on conditions of vassalage, which he kept for three j-ears and then broke. 
Nebuchadnezzar also carried aMay captives and hostages to Babylon, 
among whom was the prophet Daniel. 


to Babylon. 7. " Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels a Dan. i. i, 2, 

3.11(1 V 2 

of the house of the Lord to Babylon, and put them in his 
temple at Babylon. 8. Now the rest of the acts of 
Jehoiakim, and his abominations which he did, and that 
which was found in him, behold, they are written in the 
book of the kings of Israel and Judah : and Jehoiachin 
his son reigned in his stead. 9. Jehoiachin ivas eight 
years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three 
months and ten days in Jerusalem : and he did that which 
ivas evil in the sight of the Lord. 10. And v/hen the year 
was expired, king Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him 
to Babylon, with the goodly vessels of the house of the 
Lord, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah 

8. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim. There is something mys- 
terious about the end of Jehoiakim. The Chronicler does not mention it 
at all, and Kings says nothing about the manner of it. Probably he fell 
in the invasion of his laud by the roving bands of Chaldees, Syrians, 
Moabites, and Ammonites mentioned in 2 Kings xxiv. 2 ; and his death 
may have been accompanied by some special indignity. Jeremiah twice 
prophesies for him a violent and dishonoured death, and the absence of 
mourning, even of burial (xxii. 18, 19, and xxxvi. 30). 

9. Jehoiachin. Also called Jeconiah and Coniah. Kings gives his age 
at accession as eighteen, which is probably right. 

10. King Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babylon. This is 
an important event, as we see more clearly from Kings. It was the first 
Babylonian siege of Jerusalem, and the first beginning of tlie Captivity. 
Besides the king, all the princijial people of Jerusalem were carried 
captive, seven thousand warriors, and a thousand craftsmen and smiths. 
The whole number of captives was ten thousand, the flower of the land. 
Indeed, it is said that ' none remained, save the poorest sort of the people 
of the land.' 

The prophet Jeremiah regards these captives as the true nation of 
Israel. They are, in comparison with those that remain in Jerusalem, 
as very good figs compared with very bad ones (Jer. xxiv.). To them 
the jirophet addressed a letter (Jer. xxix.), bidding them not be misled by 
false prophets, but settle down in Babylon, and wait hopefully for the 
promises of God. 

Among these captives was the great prophet Ezekicl, whose prophetic 
work was performed in Babylon, beginning in the fifth year of this Cap- 
tivity (Ezek. i. 3), when he had his glorious vision of God, with which 
his book opens. He too exhorts his fellow-exiles not to be ' rebellious,' 
but accept the Divine chastisement. 

Zedekiah his brother. Not apparently his brother, but his father's 
brother (1 Chron. iii. 15, 16). His original name was Mattaniah, changed 
by Nebuchadnezzar to that by which he is usually known. 


338 2 CHRON. XXXVI. 1-21 

and Jerusalem. 11. Zedekiah ivas one and twenty years 
old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in 
Jerusalem. 12. And he did that which was evil in the 
sight of the Lord his God, and humbled not himself before 
Jeremiah the prophet sj^eahing from the month of the 
Lord. 13. And he also rebelled against king Nebuchad- 
nezzar, who had made him swear by God : but he stiffened 
his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the 
Lord God of Israel. 14. Moreover all the chief of the 
priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all 
the abominations of the heathen ; and polluted the house 
of the Lord which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. 15. 
And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his 
messengers, rising up betimes, and sending ; because he 
had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling-]3lace : 
h Jer. V. 12, 13 16. ^ But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised 

S. Matt. xxi. ^ , . *= . ' ^ 

33, etc. his words, and ^ misused his pro^Dhets, until the wrath of 

^ scoffed at. . , . i -n 7 

the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy. 

17. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the 

c Ezek. ix. Chaldees, '^ who slew their young men with the sword in the 

1 2. And humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet. The picture 
of Zedekiah as given in the Book of Jeremiah is that of one who, while 
he retains some respect for the propliet, is yet so weak and so much under 
the influence of his nobles that he dare not follow the prophet's advice, 
indeed dare not consult him without covering his action with a falsehood 
(.Jer. xxxviii. ). The point, apparently, of the word ' humbled ' is that 
Jeremiah's advice to the king was to surrender to the Chaldreans. God's 
punishment, the prophet knew, must come, and to strive against it now 
was merely pride and rebellion. See Jer. xxxiv., xxxvii., xxxviii. 

13. Who had made him swear by God. This was the final sin of Zede- 
kiah, that he broke his solemn oath to Nebuchadnezzar, v/hicli placed 
him in the wrong, and gave the semblance of justice to tlie cruel treat- 
ment whicli he received. He was apparently misled by false prophets, 
and the usual false hopes of alliances with Egypt and other nations. 

14. And polluted the house of the LORD. See the vivid picture in 
Ezekiel viii. of the idolatrous worships which went on in the Temple, 
even in the time between the first Captivity and the second. 

15. Rising- up betimes, and sending. A favourite phrase of Jeremiah's, 
expressing in human language the earnestness of the Divine warnings. 

17. The Chaldees. A general name for the Babylonian empire, though 
originally it had a narrower sense, meaning a people who dwelt to the 
south of Babylon, on the sea. 


house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon 

young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for 

age : he gave them all into his hand. 18. And all the 

vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the 

treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures 

of the king, and of his princes ; all these he brought 

to Babylon. 19. And they burnt the house of God, and 

brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the 

palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly 

vessels thereof. 20. And them that had escaped from the 

sword carried he away to Babylon ; where they were 

servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom 

of Persia : 21. ''To fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth i3 ; xxix. io. 

of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed ^her sabbaths: 35. 

See Jer. xxxix. for the description of the entry of the Chalda'ans into 
Jerusalem, under 'the captain of the guard,' Nebuzar-adan. Also see 
Ezek. xxxiii. 21, etc., for the announcement to the captives who were 
already in Babylonia of the fall of Jerusalem. 

18. And all the vessels of the house of God. These are described in 
detail in 2 Kings xxv. , especially the two brazen pillars, Jachin and Boaz, 
which Solomon had made. 

20. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to 
Babylon. Zedekiah tried to escape when the city was taken, but was 
overtaken near Jericho : he was brought before Nebuchadnezzar for 
judgment at Riblah, on the Oroutes : his sons were slain before his ej'es : 
his own eyes were then put out (cf. Ezek. xii. 13), and he was carried in 
brazen fetters to Babylon, where he was kept in prison to the day of his 
death (2 Kings xxv. and Jer. lii.). He was the last of the house of David 
to reign as king in Jerusalem, in accordance with the jjrophecies of Jere- 
miah (xxii. 30) and Ezekiel (xxi. 25-27). This latter prophecy is very 
remarkable: the mitre and the crown are to be removed 'until he 
come whose right it is.' The last words, in Hebrew, are intended evi- 
dently to suggest the 'Shiloh' of Gen. xlix. 10, and are a plain allusion 
to the Messiah. 

The captives taken to Babylon were chiefly, no doubt, the inhabitants 
of Jerusalem; we are told (2 Kings xxv. 12) that the 'captains of the 
guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen.' 
How little tlie spiritual lessons of this Divine chastisement had been 
learnt as yet is shown in the conduct of the remnant left behind, as 
described *^in Jer. xl.-xliii. They first murder (iedaliah, the Jewish 
governor whom the Babylonians had set over them, and then, in dis- 
regard of Jeremiah, take refuge in Egypt, taking the ijropliet with them, 
and, according to tradition, there putting him also to death. 

21. Until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths. The Divine ordinance of 


2 CHRON. XXXVI. 1-21 

for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fultil 
threescore and ten years. 

the sabbatical year, when the land must lie fallow, had been disobeyed. 
This law was doubtless intended, like the Sabbath itself, to be a forcible 
reminder to the Jews that the land was not their own, but God's, and 
that ' man doth not live by bread alone.' 

The Captivity actually lasted just over sixty j'ears, 598 to 538, counting 
from the first Captivity, that of Jehoiachin. The sacred writer implies 
that it lasted long enough to give the land the rest which it had been 
deprived of. Round numbers are usually employed in prophecy as in 


The Captivity 


1. Tlie last kings of Judah. 

Two of these, Jehoahaz and Je- 
hoiachin, reigned only three months 
each, and fell victims to the two 
powers which were now striving for 
the mastery in Western Asia, 
Egypt, and Babylon. Of the other 
two, Jehoiakini repeated the sins 
of his predecessors, forgetting 
God, living luxuriously, oppressing 
the poor, and resenting the appeals 
of the prophets. Zedekiah, in the 
pages of Jeremiah, presents a 
miserable spectacle of cowardice at 
home, and foolish presumption and 
treachery abroad, which brought 
upon him the full measure of the 
wrath of Nebuchadnezzar. 

The line of David had fallen 
hopelessly away from the Divine 
ideal ; and though it was never to 
fail entirely until the true Son of 
David came, Shiloh, 'he whose right 
it is' (Ezek. xxi. 25-27), yet no son 
of David ever again sat on the tem- 
poral throne of Jerusalem (Jer. 
xxii. 30). 


1. For more details about the 
last kings of Judah see Jer. xxii. 
13-19 (Jehoiakini), and also Jer. 
xxvi. and xxxvi. for the way in 
which Jehoiakini and his courtiers 
treated the warnings of the 

For Zedekiah see Jer. xxxii. 1-5, 

For the failure of the kingship 
see 1 Sam, xii. 25 ; Deut. xvii. 14- 

For the continuance of the line 
of David, though no longer reigning, 
see 2 Sam. vii. 14, 15; S. Matt. i. 
12-lG; S. Lukei. 26-33. 



Lesson XXXVIII — continued. Tiik Captivity 


2. The Captivity. 

Not onl}' the kings, but the 
priests and chief men of Judah, the 
leaders of public opinion, all proved 
themselves unworthy of the high 
calling which God had given them. 
They not only preferred the religions 
of the heathen to the pure and 
spiritual religion of Jehovah and 
His holy law, but they obstinately 
resisted the repeated calls of God 
by His prophets, especially by the 
great prophet Jeremiah. That fate, 
which God had miraculously de- 
livered them from in the days of 
Hezekiah, now fell on them through 
their own fault. 

The first Captivity in the reign 
of -Jehoiachin was not sufficient 
warning ; they still clung in their 
pride, not to the promises of God, 
but to the idea of their own privi- 
lege (see Jer. vii. 4). The second 
Captivity followed, which destroyed 
city and Temple and kingship. 

They now had to learn in sorrow 
and exile the real meaning of their 
calling as the people of God. 


2. Distinguish the two Captivi- 
ties, the first in the reign of Je- 
hoiachin being the more important, 
as from that the duration of the 
Captivity is to be reckoned. 

For the conduct of the first exiles 
in Babylon, and their rebelliousness 
and refusal to accept the Divine 
judgment, the Book of Ezekiel 
should be consulted, especially 
chaps, ii., iii., xii., xiv., xviii., xx., 

For the details of the siege of 
Jerusalem and its capture see the 
parallel and fuller account in 
2 Kings, and also Jer. xxxix. and 
Ezek. xxxiii. 21-33. 

Refer to the original l)uilding of 
the Temple by vSolomon, its beauties 
and its treasures ; also to the sub- 
sequent fortifying of the city by 
kings like Uzziah. 

All swept away, not merely to 
punish but to teach men the lesson 
that true strength and true wealth 
are to be found only in doing the 
will of (iod. 

For the feelings of the exiles see 
Ps. cxxxvii., and the predictions of 
exile in Deut. xxviii. 


2 CHRON. XXXVI. 1-21 

Blackboard Sketch. 

Tlie Captivity. 

The last kings of Judah — 

Jehoahaz — carried captive to Egypt. 
Jehoialcim — despised the word of God and 

J eremiah the prophet. 
Jehoiachhi — carried captive, with many of 
his people, to Babylon in 
= the Jirst Ca2Jtivity. 
ZedeJciah — broke his oath to Nebuchad- 
nezzar ; carried to Babylon 
with rest of the people in 
= the second Captivity. 
The Captivity was — 

(1) K punishment for disobedience. 

(2) A time for rejnntance. 

HOPE ;343 

2 KINGS XXy. 27-30; 2 CHRON. XXXVI. 22-23 

AND it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of 
JlX the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the 
twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of 
the month, that Evil-merodach king of Bal)ylon in the year 
that he began to reign did lift np the head of Jehoiachin 
king of Jndah out of prison ; 28. And he spake kindly 
to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings 
that were with him in Babylon ; 29. ^ And changed his i he. 
prison garments : and he did eat bread continually before 
him all the days of his life. 30. And his allowance ivas a 
continual allowance given him of the king, ^ a daily rate 2 every day a 
for every day all the days of his life. 

2 CHRON. XXXVI. 22. Now in the first year of 
Cyrus king of Persia, "that the word of the Lord spoken a Jer. xxv. 12, 
by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the xxxiii. io, n. 
Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that ' 

2 Kings xxv. 27. And it came to pass, etc. The date is very carefully 
given for this change of the royal policy towards the captive king. The 
Captivity had begun with the exile of Jehoiachin, and in this change is 
the first hope of the Return. There is no mention made of the unhappy 
Zedekiah — 

' One bound with chains of brass, 
A king-, ;i crownless, childless, eyeless ghost.' 

Probably he had died in his dungeon before this time. We do not know 
what was the cause of the kindness shown to Jehoiachin, it was evidently 
part of the set policy of Evil-merodach, as it took place in the first year of 
his reign. It may have been due to the influence of Daniel, who would 
by this time be eminent at the court. Jehoiachin was the grandfather 
of Zerubbabel, and the ancestor of our Lord (S. Matt. i. 12-16). 

Evil-merodacli. The son and successor of Nebuchadnezzar ; he was 
murdered after two years' reign by his brother-in-law, who usurped the 

29. He did eat bread continually before him. The regular description 
of one who was specially privileged by a permanent seat at the royal 
table. Instead of a prisoner, Jehoiachin becomes now almost an honoured 
guest, and takes precedence of all the other captive kings at the Baby- 
lonian court. 

2 CiiRON. xxxvi. 22. Cyrus king of Persia. Babylon was taken by 

344 2 KINGS XXV. 27-30 ; 2 CHRON. XXXVI. 22-23 

he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and 

jmt it also in writing, saying, 23. Thus saith Cyrus king of 

Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God 

of heaven given me ; and he hath charged me to build him 

3 whosoever an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. ^ Who is there 
there is among 

you of all his among you of all his people ? The Lord his God be with 

people, the j i ^ i • 

Lord, etc. him, and let him go up. 

Cyrus in 538, its fall having been foretold by Isaiah, Jeremiah, and 
Ezekiel, as that of Nineveh had been by Nahum. Cyrus is mentioned 
as the deliverer of the Jews bj^ God's appointment in Isaiah xliv. 28 and 
xlv. Whatever was the actual religion which Cyrus professed, it is 
clearly stated in Scriptures that he recognised the God of Israel as iden- 
tical with the Supreme God who had given him his conquests and empire ; 
and also that the proclamation was inspired by God. 

23. Let him go up. This proclamation is a fragment, the whole being 
given at the commencement of the book Ezra, which is thus closely linked 
on to Chronicles, and is perhaps by the same baud. Like the opening 
chapter of Acts which repeats in a fuller form the narrative of the 
Ascension which closes S. Luke's Gospel, so here we have an ending 
which is really a new beginning. The Jews are men of the future. The 
command to rebuild the Temple looks directly on towards the Messiah. 
See Dan. ix. 25. 



Matter. Method. 

Signs of God's mercy. 1. Refer to Jeremiah's prophecies 

The alleviation ^of the captivity of the Return (see marg. reff.), also 

to Ezekiel's vision of the valley of 

of .Jehoiachin, in 561, was the first 

sit'n that the prophecies of Jeremiah , , , ... 

and Ezekiel would be fulfilled, dry bones (xxxvii.). 
Jeremiah had foretold the duration 
of the Captivity : both he and 
Isaiah had spoken in glowing 
language of the joy of the Return. 
Ezekiel had prophesied the resur- 
rection of the nation, as it were, 
from the dead. Yet to the ordi- 
nary observer, especially remember- 
ing the captivity of the ten northern 
tribes, the outlook must have seemed 



Lesson XXXIX — continued. Hope 


Nearly a quarter of a century 
again had to elapse before the great 
decree of C3'rus permitting the Re- 
turn. Little is knoAvn of the general 
condition of the exiles during this 
period. But it is certain that the 
lessons of Divine chastening were 
being learned ; repentance was at 
work, and especially a horror of 
idolatry was conceived which was 
never afterwards forgotten. 

2. Why? 

God chose the nation of Israel to 
be His people, and the line of David 
to be their kings, not for their own 
sakes, but for the accomplishment 
of His gracious purpose for the 
world. He revealed Himself to 
Israel, that by them His name 
might be known over all the world. 
Israel was to be the kingdom of 
God on earth in its preparatory 
stage, leading on to the Catholic 
Church. The line of David was to 
prepare men for the true Ruler and 
King of Humanity, Jesus Christ. 

Both nation and kings failed 
miserably to answer to their Divine 
calling. Yet God, for the honour of 
His name, would not suffer His pur- 
pose to be thwarted by their sin. 
He led Israel through the bitter 
experience of the exile, that by 
repentance they might find mercy, 
and so from them might still spring 
the faithful ones, who formed the 
beginnings of the Catholic Cliurch, 
and from the line of David might 
still arise the Woman, the Virgin, 
foretold throughout Scripture, and 
the Seed of the woman, Jesus 
Christ, the Incarnate Son of God, 
who as Prophet, Priest and King of 
Humanity would perfectly fulfil all 
God's purpose for man. 

The conquest of Babylon by CjTus 
the Persian had been foretold in 

Isa. xxi. ; xli. 2, 3 ; 

xliv. 28 ; xlv. 
Jer. 1. ; li. 

2. Explain that it was really for 
our sakes that God allowed the 
Jews to return from Babylon. His 
promises must be fulfilled, and 
Christ must be born of the Virgin 
of the house of David in Bethlehem. 
Refer to Gen. iii. lo ; 
xii. 3 ; 
xlix. 10 ; 
2 Sam. vii. 16 ; 
xxiii. 5 ; 
(See vol. i. pp. 284-288.) 
Refer to Isa. vii. 14 ; 
Jer. xxxi. 22 ; 
Micah V. 2, 3 ; 
Haggai ii. 23 ; 
S. Matt, i.-ii. ; 
S. Luke i. ; 
Rev. xii. 
The Jews never again fell into 
idolatry after the Captivity. The 
nation,^ however, failed to recognise 
Christ M-hen He came ; they were 
rejected, and their city destroyed. 
Nevertheless God's purpose was 
accomplished in those wlio accepted 
His Son, the Blessed Virgin Mary, 
S. Joseph, the disciples, and in the 
Catholic Church. The Jews are 
now in a longer captivity, scattered 
over the world. But (iod still has 
a purpose for them (Rom. ix.-xi.). 



Blackboard Sketch. 


Signs of GocVs mercy. 

Kindness shown to Jehoiachin. 
Cyrus allows the Jews to return. 


For our sakes. 

God had promised the birth of 
Jesus Christ His Son, 

as Son of David, 

to be Kiug of all men 

in the Catholic Church. 

' I have waited for Thy salvation, Lord.' 

Gen. xlix. 18. 


AiiiJAH, 90-101. 

Abraham, 172. 

Adoram, 70. 

Adrammelech, 277. 

Ahab, 106-150. 

Ahaz, 264-272. 

Ahaziah of Judah, 213-217. 

of Israel, 151. 

Ahijah, 64, 66, 69. 
Alleluia Victory, 179. 
Alliances, 97. 
Almug trees, 54. 
Altar, brazen, 27. 

of Damascus, 266. 

Amariah, 171. 

Amaziah, 246-251. 

Ambushments, 174. 

Amon, 321-322. 

Ammonites, 263. 

Amorites, 319. 

Amos, 247, 259. 

Angel-guardians, 199, 208. 

Angel of the Lord, 307. 

Animals, kindness to, 10, 11. 

Anointing, 214. 

Aphek, 135. 

Apostles, 166. 

Arabah, 59, 259. 

Ark, 5, 35. 

Asa, 93-100. 

Ascension of Elijah, 156, 167. 

Ascent, 54. 

Ashdod, 253. 

Asherim, 72. 

Ashima, 277. 

Ashtoreth, 60. 

Assyria, 239, 261. 

Athaliah, 228-231. 

Athanasius, S., 116, 123. 

Authority, spiritual, 257. 

Azariah (the priest), 254. 

Azariah (the prophet), 94. 

See ' Uzziah.' 

Azubah, 168. 
Azzah, 7. 

Baal, 118. 

temple of, 224, 231. 

Baalath, 51. 

Baalim, 116. 
I Baal-Shalisha, 186. 
! Baal-zebub, 151. 
I Baasha, 96, 102, 103, 107. 

Babylon, 314, 320. 
' Balaam, 61, 81. 

Baptism, 195, 244. 
i Baptismal service, 300. 
I Basons, 24. 

Beams, 24. 

Bears, 160. 

Beauty of holiness, 173, 174. 
I Beer-sheba, 125. 
I Belial, 91. 
I sons of, 140. 

Ben-hadad, 132, 209. 

Berachah, 174, 177. 

Berodach-baladan, 313. 

Beth-el, 77, 92, 156, 329. 

Beth-horon, 51. 

Bible, 333-335. 

Bidkar, 216. 

Blindness, 199. 

Blood-feuds, 171. 

Boaz, 27. 

Book of the Law, 169, 325. 

Bow, 146, 240. 

Bui, 19. 

Burning for the dead, 98. 

Burnt-offering, 286, 29.3. 

Cab, 200. 
Cabul, 50. 



Calves, golden, 77, 225, 276. 

Candlesticks, 28. 

Capitals, 26. 

Captain of the host, 182. 

Captives, humanity to, 265. 

Captivity, 273-279, 337, 339-341, 345. 

Carmel, 116, 306. 

Cedar, 9. 

Chamber, 181. 

Chambers (side), 15, 32, 33. 

Chariots, 157, 158, 240. 

Charity, 148. 

Chemarim, 328. 

Chemosh, 61. 

Cherethites, 231. 

Cherith, 110. 

Cherubim, 17. 

Chest, 232. 

Children, 160. 

Christ, types and prophecies of, 9, 

17, 57/65, 176, 178, 187, 188-189, 

195, 219, 270, 294, 345. 
Chronology, xi, 15. 
Church, types and prophecies of, 

22, 23, 41, 176, 299, 345. 
Cloud, 121. 
Collection, 232. 
Colocynth, 185. 
Coniah. See Jehoiaehin. 
Conduit, 268. 
Confirmation, 10, 
Consecrate, 82. 
Coronation, 236, 237. 
Courage, 122-123. 
Court, 19. 

Covenant, 90, 95, 327. 
Cracknels, 82. 
Creditor. 180. 
Cromwell, Thomas, 140. 
Cross, type of, 197. 
Cubit, 15. 
Curse, 141. 
Cyrus, 343. 

Damascus, 136, 191, 266. 
Dan, 78. 
Daniel, 336. 
Daughter of Zion, 305. 
David, 5, 39, 43. 
Dead, raising of, 112, 184, 241. 
Dedication, .34. 
Deliverance, 308-310. 
Deuteronom}^ 325. 

Dial, 313. 
Dogs, 141, 214. 
Dothan, 198. 
Dove's dung, 200. 
Dreams, 3. 
Drought, 115. 

East of Jordan, 161. 

wisdom of, 8. 

Ecclesiastes, 67. 

Eden, 62. 

Edom, 161, 211, 248. 

Egypt, 2, 3, 8, 296. 

Egyptians, kings of, 203. 

Ekron, 151. 

Elah, 103, 107. 

Elath, 53, 59, 252, 266. 

Eliakim, 296. 

Eliezer, 175. 

Elijah, 109-157. 

Elijah's letter, 212. 

Elisha, 128, 156-241. 

Engines, 254. 

Enoch, 158. 

Ephraim, 70. 

Ephrain, 92. 

Ethan, 8. 

Ethbaal, 106. 

Eucharist, types of, 48, 129, 177. 

244, 293. 
Evil-merodach, 343. 
Ezekiel, 337. 
Ezion-geber, 53, 59, 175. 

Faith, 206, 269. 

Faithfulness, 122, 128. 

Familiar spirits, 318. 

Fast, 140. 

Figs, 313. 

Fire from heaven, 43, 120, 152, 154, 

First-born, portion of, 157. 

(Ialilee, 262. 

Gath, 252. 

Geba, 97. 

Cebalitcs, 14. 

Gehazi, 181-185, 193, 205. 

Genealogies, 74. 

Gezer, 51. 

Gibbethon, 182. 

Gibeon, 3. 

Gilgal, 156, 185. 



Gold, 18. 

Gourds, wild, 185. 
Groves. /S'ee ' Asherim.' 

Habor, 237. 

Hadad, 62. 

Halah, 273. 

Halt, 117. 

Hamath, 259. 

Hanani, 97. 

Haraii, 304. 

Hazael, 127, 209, 22G, 239, 242. 

Hazazou-Tamar, 171. 

Hazor, 51. 

Hemau, 8. 

Henry ii., 170. 

VIII., 140, 322. 

Herodotus, 307-311. 

Hezekiah, 283-317. 

Hidden waj's of God, 129. 

Hiel, 100. 

High places, 3, 61, 96. 

Hilkiah, 325. 

Hiram, the artificer, 25, 29. 

the king, 12, 50. 

History, divine and human, 107. 

Hittites, 56, 202. 

Holiness, 182. 

Holv of Holies, 17, 22. 

-' Place, 22. 

Spirit, 165, 181. 

Hope, 344. 
Horeb, 126, 129. 
Horses, 7, 56, 203. 
Hosea, 247, 261. 
Hoshea, 273. 
Hospitality, 187. 
Huldah, 326. 
Human sacrifice, 164. 
Huram. See ' Hiram. ' 

Iddo, 66, 74. 
Idolatry, 66, 274. 
Images, 331. 
Immanuel, 270. 

Incarnation, types of, 9, 17, 37, 39, 
160, 184, 185. See also ' Christ.' 
Incense, 254. 
Indignation, 164. 
Iron, 197. 
Irony, 209. 

Isaiah, 255, 263, 268-272, 302-317. 
Ivory house, 147. 

Jabneh, 252. 

Jachin, 27. 

Jealousy, 72, 

Jahaziel, 173. 

Jeconiah. See Jehoiachin. 

Jehoahaz of Israel, 239. 

of Judah, 336. 

Jehoash. See Joash of Israel. 

Jehoiachin, 337, 343. 

Jehoiakim, 336, 337. 

Jehoiada, 228-333. 

Jehonadab, 223. 

Jehoram, 153, 160, 211. 

Jehoshabeath, 228. 

Jehoshaphat, 142-178. 

Jehu, 127, 213-227. 

son of Hanani, 170, 175. 

Jeremiah, 337-344. 

Jericlio, 106, 107, 159. 

Jeroboam i., 63-65, 68-86. 

II., 239, 259, 260. 

Jerusalem, 299. 

Jezebel, 106, 125, 139-142,217,218. 

Joash of Israel, 240-242, 248, 249. 

of Judah, 228-238. 

John the Baptist, 187. 

Jonah, 259. 

Joram, 215, 216. 

Jordan, 156, 157, 191, 192, 197. 

Josiah, 79, 324-335. 

Jotham, 263, 264. 
i Judges, 170. 
! Judgment, 154, 155. 

i KiK-HARASETH, 163. 

Kishon, 120. 
Knops, 17. 

Lachish, 249, 295. 
: Lamp, 65. 
I Lattice, 151. 
: Lavers, 28. 
! Law of Moses, 246, 325. 

Lel>anon, 51, 305. 

Lebanon, house of forest of, 24. 

Leprosy, 190, 194, 255. 
j Lepers, 202. 
I Levites, 34, 228, 284. 
I Levy, 14. 
I Libnah, 24. 

Linen yarn, 56. 
, Lions, 276. 

Loaves, 186. 


Lubims, 73. 
Lydia, 181. 
Lying, 80. 

Maachah, 90. 
Magi, 57, 58. 
Mahomet, 192. 
Manasseh, 318-323. 
Mantle, 128. 
Materialism, 250. 
Mattaii, 231. 
Megiddo, 51, 217, 332. 
Menahem, 2G0-262. 
Mercenaries, 246. 
Mesha, 161. 
Meunim, 171. 
Micaiah, 144-146. 
Midian, 62. 
Midrash, 92. 
Milcom, 60. 
Millo, 51. 
Minstrel, 162. 
Missionary work, 57. 
Mizpah, 97. 
Moab, 151, 241. 
Moabite stone, 61. 
Moloch, 264, 318. 
Money, 190. 
Monks, 185. 
Moriah, 3. 
Music, 162. 

Naamaii, 71. 
Naaman, 190-196. 
Naboth, 139-141. 
Nadab, 102, 107. 
Nahum, 344. 
Name of God, 12. 
Natlian, 66. 
Navy, 53, 175. 
Nebuchadnezzar, 336-339. 
Necho, 331, 332. 
Nehushtan, 283. 
Nergal, 277. 
New moon, 183. 
Numbers, meaning of, 15. 

Gbadiah, 115 
Oded, 95. 
Oil, 180, 181. 
Omri, 104-108. 
Ophir, 53. 
Ordination, 267. 


Oswald, S., 334, 335. 
Otto III., 332, 333. 

Painting, 217. 

Panic, 202. 

Parable, 137, 248. 

Passover, 288, 330. 

Pekah, 262, 263. 

Pekahiah, 262. 

Philistines, 169. 

Pha>nicians, 53. 

Physicians, 98. 

Pillars, 25, 72, 230. 

Polygamy, 60. 

Porch, 24. 

Posts, 288. 

Pottage, 185. 

Prayer, 47, 112, 120, 184, 303, 308. 

attitude in, 38. 

Priests, 34. 

Priesthood, 94, 257. 

Prophecy, 309. 

Prophet from Judah, 78, 87, 330. 

Prophets, 79, 115, 136. 

false, 143. 

heathen, 191. 

unnamed, 246, 247. 

of Israel, 278. 

Providence, 112-114. 
Psalms, 287. 
Pul, 261. 

Queen of Siieba, 53. 
Questions, 53. 

Rabsaris, 295. 
Rab-shakeh, 295-300. 
Rain, 40, 121. 
Ramah, 96. 

Ramoth-gilead, 143, 146, 213. 
Ravens, 110. 
Rebatements, 16. 
Rebellion, 75. 
Rechabites, 223. 
Rehoboam, 68-76. 
Repentance, 76, 142, 323. 
Resurrection, 241, 244. 
Retribution, 149. 
Rezin, 264. 
Riddles, 53. 
Rimmon, 192, 193. 

Sabbath, 183, 339. 



Sacrilege, 256, 258, 
Saints, 110. 
Samaria, 105. 

pool of, 147. 

sieges of, 200, 273. 

Samaritans, 275-278, 280-282. 
Sargon, 273. 

Schism, 75. 

Scorpions, 69. 

Sea, molten, 27. 

Seir, 172, 247. 

Sela, 217. 

Sennacherib, 295. 

Sepharvaim, 277. 

Shallum, 260. See also Jehoahaz of 

Shalmaneser, 273. 
Shaphan, 326-327. 
Shearing-house, 222. 
Shear-jashub, 268. 
Sheba, 53. 
Shechem, 68, 77. 
Shechinah, 36, 37. 
Shemaiah, 71, 74. 
Shephelah, 253. 
Shunammite, 181-185, 205. 
Shunem, 181. 
Shiloh, 339. 
Ships, 55, 175. 
Shishak, 65, 72-74. 
Sickness, 315. 
Sign, 269-272. 
Siloam, 32. 
Singers, 173. 
Sin-offering, 286, 292. 
Sins of Israel, 279. 
Slingers, 163. 
Slings, 254. 
So, 273. 
Solomon, 1-67. 

his empire, 6. 

his trade, 56. 

type of Christ, 57. 

his writings, 8, 9. 

Spirit, lying, 145. 
Stone-squarers, 14. 
Store-cities, 97. 
Succoth-benoth, 277. 
Sukkiiras, 73. 
Sun-images, 93. 
Sun-worship, 329. 
Superstition, 146. 
Sycamores, oQ. 

Syria, 190. 

Syrian language, 297. 

Sj'ro-Israelitish invasion, 264-270. 

Tabeal, son of, 269. 
Tabernacle, 34, 232. 
Tabernacles, feast of, 78. 
Tables of siiewbread, 28. 
Tadmor, 51. 
Tahpenes, 63. 
Talent, 50, 105. 
Targets, 93. 
Targum, 14. 
Tartak, 277. 
Tartan, 295. 
Tax, 232. 
Temple, 12-45. 
Tempting God, 250. 
Thank-offering, 287, 293. 
Tharshish, 55, 175. 
Throne, 55. 
Testimony, 230. 
Tibni, 105. 
Tiglath-pileser, 266. 
Tiphsah, 7. 
Tirhakah, 303. 

Unbelief, 207. 
Urijah, 267. 
Uzziah, 252-258. 

Valley or Jehoshaphat, 174. 

of salt, 247. See also ' Bera- 

chali. ' 

Vanity, 316. 
Vanities, 104. 
Vengeance, 219. 
Vestments, 224. 
Victory, 137, 138, 242, 243. 

of Church, 176. 

Vine, wild, 185. 
Vineyard, 139. 
Virgin, 270, 345. 

Washing, 27. 
AVater, healing of, 159. 
Well of Elisha, 160. 
Whoredoms, 216. 
Widow's oil, 180. 
Windows, 15. 
Wisdom, 8-11. 
Worship, 45-47. 

Zachariah, 260. 



Zarephath, 110. 

Zeal, 226. 

Zechariah (king). See Zachariah. 

(prophet), 2o2. 

son of Jehoiada, 234, 235 

Zedekiah, 337-389, 343. 

Zedekiah, son of Chenaanah, 144 

Zerah, 93. 

Zirari, 104, 105, 107, 218. 

Zion, 3. 

Ziv, 15. 

Zobah, 63. 



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