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things of the house of the LORD did they bestow upon Baalim.)
So the workmen wrought, and the work was perfected by them, and they set the house of God in his state, and strengthened it.
But Jehoiada waxed old, and was full of days when he died an hundred and thirty years old was he when he died.
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.
Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance unto the king. Then the king hearkened unto them.
And they left the house of the LORD GOD of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.
Yet he sent prophets to them to bring them again unto the LORD, and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.
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.
And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment, of the king in the court of the house of the Lord.
Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada Zechariah's father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, Zechariah said, The LORD look upon it, and requite it..
Then Hazael king of Syria went up, and fought
against Gath, and took it: and Hazael set his face to ge up to Jerusalem.
And Joash king of Judah took all the hallowed things that Jehoshaphat and Jehoram and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own hallowed things, and all the gold that was found in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and in the king's house, and sent it to Hazael king of Syria and he went away from Jerusalem.
And it came to pass at the end of 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.
For the army of the Syrians came with a small com, pany of men, and the LORD delivered a very great host into their hand, because they had forsaken the LORD GOD of their fathers: so they executed judgment against Joash.
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 not in the sepulchres of the kings. He reigned forty years.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
Joash was extremely fortunate in the beginning of his reign, in being under the direction of so good and pious a man as Jehoiada, for both the king and his subjects experienced the happy effects of his excellent management. Whilst Joash continued under the influence of Jehoiada, he appeared wise and amiable, and the blessing of the .. VOL. III. R
LORD attended him; but as soon as he suffered himself to be perverted from the worship of the LORD, his hap piness and prosperity forsook him, for wrath came upon him from the LORD; and the Syrians were permitted to prevail against him.
We may easily imagine the miseries which Judah endured, by falling into the cruel hands of Hazael; yet they could not justly reproach God for raising them up such an enemy, as he would undoubtedly have been restrained from hurting them, (as he was during the life of Jehoiada) if they had not provoked the Divine chastisement by their apostasy.
Nothing could be a greater insult to the LORD, than the murder of the prophet Zechariah, whom they stoned whilst he was declaring the word of the LORD, in a place always deemed sacred, the court of the Temple. This wickedness was too notorious to escape the vengeance of GoD; and it added greatly to the measure of the nationa] guilt*.
How does every portion of sacred history exemplify the truth, justice, wisdom, and goodness of the SUPREME BEANG !
THE REIGN OF JEHOАHAZ KING OF ISRAEL,
From 2 Kings, Chap. xiii.
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.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of
* See Matt. chap. xxiii. 35.
Nebat, which made Israel to sin: he departed not there
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 the son of Hazael, all their days.
And Jehoahaz besought the LORD, and the LORD hearkened unto him: for he saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Syria oppressed them.
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 them, and had made them like the dust by threshing.
And the LORD gave Israel a Saviour, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians: and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents as beforetime.
Nevertheless, they departed not from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, who made Israel to sin, but walked therein and there remained the grove also in Samaria.
And Jehoahaz slept with his fathers: and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoash his son reigned in his stead.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
How shocking it is to read of the degeneracy of Israel! When we compare their abject condition in the days of Jehoahaz, with their glory and eminence in the reigns of David and Solomon, we can scarcely believe them to be the same nation which was chosen as the peculiar people of God. Whilst they continued faithful to him, the LORD himself was their defence, and their help, and the sword of their excellency: when they forsook him they were stripped of their honour, and exposed to the insults of their neighbours; yet did not the LORD forget His R 2 Covenant,
Covenant, for when they returned unto Him with true contrition, He never rejected their prayers; a remarkable instance of which we have in the history of Jehoahaz, who was rescued from utter destruction by a miraculous deliverance, at a time when Hazael had gained such advantages, that had he not been restrained by omnipotent power, he would have entirely extirpated the kingdom of Israel: but though he was permitted to succeed against this people, on account of their sins; yet could the same ALMIGHTY BEING, who ruleth the raging of the ocean, restrain the turbulent passions of this haughty monarch, and say to him, Hitherto shalt thou go, and no farther.
Let this instance encourage those who have forsaken the LORD, to turn unto Him, and He will have mercy upon them.
THE REIGN OF JEHOASH (CALLED ALSO JOASH) KING
From 2 Kings, Chap. xiii.
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 with his father.
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; but he walked therein.
Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died; and Jehoash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows.