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of judgment: righteousness. lodged in it; but, now murderers

Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water : thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves : every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards : they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.

Therefore saith the LORD, the LORD of hosts, the mighty one of Israel, Ah, 1 will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS,

Isaiah began to prophesy in the reign of Uzziah. The foregoing extract from his writings shews, that the people of Judah, as well as those of Israel, acted with great ingratitude to the LORD, How affectionate is this address to them, like that of a tender father, endeavouring to reclaim a disobedient child, It is suited not only to the people of Judah, but to all other nations, who are guilty of the same crimes.

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SECTION LXXXIV.

THE REIGN OF ZECHARIAH AND OF SHALLUM, KINGS

OF ISRAEL.

From 1 Kings, Chap. xv. In the chirty and eighth year of Uzziah king of Judah, did Zechariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel in Samaria.

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. VOL. III. S

And

wird Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and șmote him before the people, and slew him, after he had reigned six months, and reigned in his stead.

And the rest of the acts of Zechariah, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

This was the word of the LORD, which he spake unto Jehu, saying, Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth

generation

And so it came to pass. Shallum the son of Jäbesh began to reign in the nine and thirtieth year of Uzziah king of Judah, and he reigned a full month in Samaria.

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..

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. . It is supposed by learned authors, and is noted in the margips of our Bibles, that there was an interregnum (or space of time when the nation was in a state of anarchy and confusion without any sovereign) for eleven years (others say for twenty-two years): perhaps there were disputes about the succession, and conspiracies formed by different factions, till at length Zechariah the son of Jeroboam was established; by which the LORD's promise to Jehu, that his sons should sit on the throne to the fourth generation, was fulfilled.

We find, however, that Zechariah was a very impious Frince, and his reign was short for God permitted him to be slain by one of his subjects, according to the prediction of the prophet Amos, which he spake many years before, as follows: I will rise against the house of Jero'boam with the sword*: 1:59

: Shallum was a wicked usurper, as well as an idolator,

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and God's judgment was in a very short time sent upon him ; for he was suffered to fall by the hand of Menahem, Zechariah's general, who was then besieging Tirzah. On hearing what Shallum had done, Menahem marched to Samaria, defeated and slew him, under pretence of avenging the death of his sovereign.; but, as it provede to gratify his own ambitious views.

SECTION LXXXV.

THE HISTORY OF THE PROPHET JONAH.

From Chap. i, &c. Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it;; for their wickedness is come up before me.

But Jonah rose up to fee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa : and he found a ship going to Tarshish : so he paid the fare thereof, and went down, into it to go with them to Tarshish, from the presence of the LORD.

But the Lorósent out a great wind into the sea, aná there was a mighty tempest in the sca, so that the ship was like to be broken.

Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them : but Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.

So the ship-master came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, o sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us that we perish not.

ม And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and Tet 103 cast lots ; that we may know for whose cause this S2

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evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.

Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us : what is thine occupa. tion? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou ?

And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew:: and I fear the LORD the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.

Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this ? for the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD ; because he had told them.

Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, what the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought and was tempestuous.

And, he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sça ; 80 shall the sea be calm unto you ; for I know that for my sake this great tempest is

upon you.

Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land ; but they could not : for the sea wrougḥt, and was tempestuous against them.

Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this, man's life, and lay not upon us inpocent blood : for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee.

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Jonah and cast him forth into the sea : and the sea ceased from her raging.

Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.

Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nighta.

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Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly.

And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.

Jonah lived in the kingdom of Israel in the reigns of Jehoash and Jeroboam the second.

Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire, at the time Jonah was sent thither, was one of the largest and most ancient cities in the world; supposed to have been built by Nimrod not long after the food, and very soon after the lower of Babel ; but afterwards greatly enlarged by Ninus, from whom it received its name. This city

was situated upon the banks of the Tigris, and (according to learned authors) was in length about twenty-ope miles, nine broad, and fifty-four round ; it was surrounded with "stately walls, and fortified with lofty towers, and is thought to have contained six hundred thousand persons.

The excuse which Jonah made for disobeying the Divine command, and endeavouring to fly from the presence of the LORD, was, that he apprehended the LORD would, through his infinite mercy and goodness, change his

purpose in respect to Nineveh, and thit then his prophet's predictions would be regarded as fictitious, and involve him in disgrace, if not in destruction. It certainly was very sinful in Jonah to think thus, as. he might have been certain the Lord would do what was right and that, however he dealt with the Ninevites, he would protect his prophet. It pleased the LORý, therefore, to inflict such a punishment as should convince Jonah of his error, strengtilen his faith, and give him credit with the world, who would be ready to listen to one that had been 80 wonderfully preserved.

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