« PreviousContinue »
and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.
And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah,' and smote him; and slew him, and reigned in his stead.
In the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziak: king of.Judah, when Pekah had reigned twenty years.
ANNOTATIONS AND : REFLECTIONS.
Menahem was a monster of barbarity ; his ambition would endure no opposition, as his miserable subjects experienced to their sorrow !''
TIRZAH, which is frequently mentioned in Scripture, , was for a long time the regal city of the kingdom of Israel. Jeroboam, who was the first king of Israel after the division of the 'tribes (though he dwelt for some
time at Shechem), resided there in his latter days at least, as did all the other kings of Israel, until Omri, having reigned six years in T'irzah, built Samaria, and renioved the royal seat thither, where it continued till a final period was put to the kingdom. Tipsah, where Menahem “exercised so much cruelty, is supposed to have been a town' near to Tirzah.
There is no occasion to comment on the reign of Pekaiah ; for what has been remarked of former kings, whose characters and fate resembled his, may be applied . to him.
Pekah's reign is rendered remarkable by the captivity of the tribe of Naphtali, and a considerable part of the kingdom of Israel.
As we shall in the ensuing history frequently read of the Assyrians, it will be proper, before we proceed, to give a short account of the origin of the second Assyrian monarchy.-, Puls, the king mentioned in this section,
* :.. appears
appears (according to scripture) to have been the founder of it ; and we have reason to think, that he was raised up to great power, in the same manner as Hazael king of Syria had been, that he might be instrumental to the pupishment of the israelites, for their abominable idolatry and profaneness." For we do not read in sacred history of any king of Assyria till this period; and it had been fore. told, by the prophet Amos in particular, above twenty years before, that God would raise up a nation that should humble the house of Israel, at that time elated with their success against Damascus and Hamath : but what dation he names not ; from which we may imply, that it did not then subsist, because we find that succeeding prophets frequently mention the Assyrians. Pul is supposed to have reigned at Nineveh, and to have been either that king to whom Jonah preached, or, most likely, his son.
What particular conquests he gained we are not told; but there is reason to think, that he either vanquished or received voluntary homage from Syria and other nations, as well as from Israel. Perhaps Pul was rendered eminent, and permitted to molest Israel, as a reward for his repentance and that of the Nineyites.
The new monarchy of the Assyrians gained ground under the government of TiguaTH-Pileser, who is supposed to have been the son and successor of Pula
PART OF THE PROPHECY OF HOSEA.
From Chap. vii, &c.
When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria : for they commit falshood . and the thief cometh in, and the troop of robbers spoileth without.
And they consider not in their hearts, that I remember all their wickedness : now their own doings have beset them about ; they are before my
face. They make the king glad with their wickedness, and the princes with their lies
Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart : they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.
When they shall go, I will spread my net upon them;
I will bring them down as the fowls of the heaven : I will chastise them as their congregation hath heard.
Woe unto them ! for they have Aed from me : destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against mé : though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me.
And they have not cried unto me with their heart when they howled upon their beds: they assemble themselves for corn and wine, and they rebel against me.
Though I have bound and strengthened their arms, yet do they imagine mischief against me.
They return, but not to the Most High: they are like a deceitful bow : their princes shall fall by the sword for the
rage of their tongue. This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.
Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency?
For from Israel was it also; the workman made it : therefore it is not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces. For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap
the whirlwind; it hath not stalk ; the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shalf swallow it up.
Israel is swallowed up: now shall tory be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.
For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by. himself: Ephraim háth hired lovers.
Yea, though they have hired among the nations, now will I gather them, and they shall sorrow a little for the burden of the king of princes.
Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars : shall be upon him to sin.
I have written to him the great things of my, law, but they were counted as a strange thing.
They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it ; but the Lord accepteth them not: now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins; they shall return to Egypt
For Israel hath forgotten his: Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities :- but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall. devour. the palaces thereof..
They shall not dwell in the LORD's land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria.
My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him :. and they shall be wanderers, among the nations..
For now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the Lord: what then should a king do to us?
Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.,
Take with you.words, and turn to the LORD ; say unto
horses : neither will, we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods : for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.
I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely : for mine anger ie turned away from them.
I will be as the dew unto Israel ; he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.
His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive-tree, and his smell as Lebanon.
They that dwell" under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine : the scept thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.
Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like 2 green fir-tree: from me is thy fruit found.
Who is wise, and he shall understand these things ? prudent, and he shall know them for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them : but the transgressors shall fall therein:
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. ; By these extracts from Hosea, who prophesied in the reigns of the kings, whose history has just been related, we may perceive why the LORD resolved to bring judgMents on the land of Israel...
From the beginning of this section we find, that they were warned not to go down to Egypt and Assyria for help: and that the great offence of the Israelites was wor. shipping idols, the golden calf in particular. The punishment threatened for these crimes, appears perfectly, just and proper
for those who had forsaken their MAKER. '. In the latter part of this section, the prophet calls on the people to repent and return to the Lord, and fur-nishes them with a prayer,, very suitable to their necessia
he then, in the name of their all-merciful God, promises blessings to those who should be truly. penitent; and under the emblem of a green flourishing fig-tree, foretells the reformation ofi Israel from idolatry, and their conse-quent prosperity