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others, which was particularly necessary in the land of Israel in those times; and whenever it is the Divine Will to inflict judgments, which to human apprehension appear severe, we must recollect, that this life is not the whole of our existence, but there is a future state, where God will bring every work into judgment, and every secret thought, whether it be good, or whether it be evil, and reward us accordingly.

SECTION XLVIII.

THE REIGN OF ABIJAM, CALLED ALSO ABIJAH,

KING OF JUDAH.

From 1 Kings, Chap. xv. 2 Chron. Chan. xiii.

Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat, reigned Abijam over Judab.

1 Three years reigned he in Jerusalem; and he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him : and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father.

Nevertheless, for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem : because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from

any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.

And Abijam set the battle in array with an army of valiant men of war, even four hundred thousand chosen

Jeroboam also set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen, men, being mighty men of valour. And Abijam stood up upon mount Zemaraim, which is the water; and He shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger.

men.

And be shall give Israel ups because of the sin of Jero: boam, who did sin, and who made (grael to sin,

And Jeroboam's wife atose, and departed, and eame to Tirzah : apd when she came to the threshold of the door the child died.

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 A hijah the prophet.

And the days which Jeroboam reigned, were two and twenty years : and he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in kis stead.

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ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS, Jeroboam soon forgot the admonitions of the prophet, and brought the curse of God upon himself by the abou aninable practice of idolatry. It seems that he apprehended Rehoboam would have the advantage, and entice the people back to himself, if they continued to resort to the Temple at JERUSALEM ; he therefore studied for an expedient to prevent them.'

In Solomon's reign the people built them high places on every high hill, and under every green tree; and did according to all the abominations of the nations, which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel ; so they were easily induced to forsake the LORD.

Jeroboam knew that he had not the means to build a temple to vie with that of Solomon, but something he thought he must do to prevent the desertion of his people. Having resided for a long time in Egypt, he wished to form an alliance with that country, with a view to trengthen la is power. Among their numerous idols the

Egyptian

Egyptians had two oxën which they worshipped | one at he eleg of Memphis ealled Apis ; the other at Hiempolis, called Mnepis. That he might therefore gäid the favoar of his peoples Jeroboan made idols in the form of these Oxen, and placed them likewise in different parts of his kingdom. Dan was farnous, in the time of Mically for his Teraphim į and Bethel was esteemed a sacred plaće on acebunt of Jacob's tision of the ladder; and the Lor D'S frequeñt appearance to him. By setting up his golden calves in these places, which had long been esteemed sacred, Jeroboami contrived at once to please the Egyptians, and to gratify his own subjects.

Zoan; the city at which the new rate of Egyptian kings Pésided, was not far from the borders of Canaan. it was the interest of former kings to be upoh good terms with David's race; But Shishak had cảvse to fear, that Solomon's soft would be ready to join the deposed family in Egypt; for this reason it was polític for him to encourage Jeroboam, who appeared to be an usurpet also.

XH the order of priests and Levites adhered to the Temple service, by which they drew the displeasure of Jeroboam upon them, and having occasion for ministers, he chose such as we réad of. This was a great act of presumption, but Jeroboam stopt at nothing to effect his am. bitious purposes ; for, without the least regard to the orde tances of the LORD, he instituted neru festivals ; so that he totally subverted the public worship, and the people plunged themselves headlong into the grossest idolatry, and entirely forsook the Lord; but, in his infinite mercy, the Lord vouch safed to call them to repentance, by senda ing à prophet, and working such miracles as must have converted them, if they had not hardened their hearts.

The mercy of God was shewn to Jeroboam in warning hink of the destruction he would bring on his family, and also to his son, the good young Abijah, by taking him

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into a happier 'state : his death, which was a punishment to the parent, was a blessing to the child, by removing him to a better world. ::

The Lord threatened, by the mouth of His prophet, that, “ he would give Israel up, because of the sin of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin,"

We must not from this suppose, that Israel would have been punished for the wickedness of their sovereign, if the people had adhered to their duty. They well knew that Jeroboam's proceedings were directly contrary to the law of Gon; yet they willingly made themselves partakers of his crime, and therefore deserved to be given up. It is called Jeroboam's sin, because he introduced it; but the people must have been inclined to idolatry, or they would not have been so easily influenced by him.

Jeroboam and the Israelites were as undeserving as the people of Judah of God's favour ; and one is lost in admiration of the divine forbearance, that they were suffered to remain on the face of the earth?

The prediction, which the prophet delivered respecting Josiah, was a very remarkable one, and it was afterwards exactly accomplished *. We are told, that the young prophet who spake it came to a very untimely end; for he suffered himself to be persuaded by another prophet, who pretended to be also inspired, to go to his house, instead of obeying the Lord's commands, which the young prophet had himself received by divine iuspiration : to punish him for thus inconsiderately preferring the word of a man to the word of God, he was torn to pieces by a lion. (to save him from which he was perhaps directed to return home another way), This punishment appears very severe, because it seems that the young prophet really thought the old prophet spake truth ; but we may suppose God permitted him to be slain for a warning to

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* 1 Kings'xjii. 20. &c.

others,

others, which was particularly necessary in the land of Israel in those times ; and whenever it is the Divine Will to inflict judgments, which to human apprehension appear severe, we must recollect, that this life is not the whole of our existence, but there is a future state, where God will bring every work into judgment, and every secret thought, whether it be good, or whether it be evil, and reward us accordingly.

SECTION XLVIII.

THE REIGN OF A BIJAM, CALLED ALSO ABIJAH,

KING OF JUDAH.

From 1 Kings, Chap. xv. 2 Chron. Chap. xiii.

Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat, reigned Abijam over Judah.

1 Three years reigned he in Jerusalem; and he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done 'before him : and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father.

Nevertheless, for David's sake did the Lord his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem : because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from

any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life..

And Abijam set the battle in array with an army of valiant men of war, even four hundred thousand chosen

Jeroboam also set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen, men, being mighty men of valour. And Abijam stood up upon mount Zemaraim, which is

men.

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