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Ahab denounced by

I. KINGS, XXI.

Elijah, humbles himself.

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down to meet Ahab king of Israel, * Kilis ... 20; 21 me to anger, and made Israel to sin. which is in Samaria : behold, he is in

(23) And I of Jezebel also spake the Lord, the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is

saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the gone down to possess it. (19) And thou

lwall of Jezreel. (24) Him that dieth of shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus 0 1 Sam. 25. 22. Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and saith the Lord, Hast thou killed, and

him that dieth in the field shall the also taken possession ? And thou shalt

fowls of the air eat. speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the

(25) But there was none like unto Ahab, LORD, In the place where dogs licked

which did sell himself to work wickedthe blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy

ness in the sight of the Lord, whom blood, even thine.

Jezebel his wife stirred up.

(26) And he (20) And Ahab said to Elijah, Hasta eh. 15. 29. did very abominably in following idols, thou found me, O mine enemy? And

according to all things as did the Amohe answered, I have found thee: because

rites, whom the Lord cast out before thou hast sold thyself to work evil in

the children of Israel. the sight of the LORD. (21) Behold, «I

(27) And it came to pass, when Ahab will bring evil upon thee, and will take

heard those words, that he rent his away thy posterity, and will cut off

clothes, and put sackcloth upon his from Ahab him that pisseth against

flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, the wall, and chim that is shut up and

and went softly. (28) And the word of left in Israel, (22) and will make thine

the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, house like the house of d Jeroboam the 1 Or, ditch.

saying, (29) Seest thou how Ahab humson of Nebat, and like the house of

bleth himself before me ? because he • Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the pro

humbleth himself before me, I will not vocation wherewith thou hast provoked

bring the evil in his days : but in his

e ch, 16. 3.

12 Kings 9.36.

2 Or, incited.

simply part of Ahab's title, or as signifying the country, the instigator, on whom the coward king, no doubt, not the town of Samaria, is to explain them away. threw his guilt. Ahab stands revealed as the true

(19) Hast thou killed, and also taken posses- culprit before God, without a shred of subterfuge to sion ?-The stern, indignant brevity of the accusation, veil his ultimate responsibility, Now, briefly and at once shaming the subterfuge by which Ahab shifts sternly, the prophet notices the bolder criminal, prohis guilt to Jezebel, and unmasking the real object of nouncing against her a doom of shame and horror, the whole crime, leaves the king speechless as to seldom falling upon a woman, but rightly visiting ono defence, unable to stay the sentence which at once who had forsworn the pity and modesty of her sex. follows. The marked particularity and emphasis of In the “ ditch” (see margin) outside the walls, where that sentence, " In the place where the dogs licked the the refuse of the city gathers the half-wild dogs—the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine," scavengers of Eastern cities—her dead body is to be preclude all explanations, which would seek its fulfilment thrown as offal, and to be torn and devoured. in the fate of Jehoram (2 Kings ix. 25); nor can such This verse and the next are evidently the reflec. explanations be justified by reference to verse 29, for it tion of the compiler, catching its inspiration from the is not this part of the sentence which is deferred by words of Elijah in verse 20. There is in them a tone Ahab's repentance. (Soe Note on chap. xxii. 38.) not only of condemnation, but of contempt, for a king

(20) Hast thou found me, o mine enemy ?- most unkingly—thus selling himself to a half-unThe cry is partly of dismay, partly of excuse. Ahab, willing course of crime, against the warnings of conhaving no word of defence to uiter, endeavours to science, not disbelieved but neglected, for the sake of a attribute Elijah's rebuke and condemnation to simple paltry desire-thus moreover, grovelling under the open enmity, much as in chap. xviii. 17 he cries out “ Ārt dominion of a woman, which, to an Eastern mind, fami. thou he that troubleth Israel ?” The crushing answer liar enough with female intrigues, but not with female is that the prophet came not because he was an enemy, imperiousness, would seem especially monstrous. but because Ahab had “sold himself”-had become a (26) As did the Amorites. The reference is proslavo instead of a king_under the lust of desire and bably not only to the idolatry and worship of false the temptation of Jezebel.

gods, but to the nameless abominations always con(21-24) Behold, I will bring evil.-Distinct from nected with such worship: that message of personal judgment is the doom of utter (27) And went softly. – The translation seems destruction pronounced on the dynasty of Omri- the correct; the meaning is variously conjectured. The same in substance, and almost in word, as that already LXX. (in some MSS.) has “ bent down" in sorrow; the pronounced in chaps. xiv. 10, 11, xvi. 3, 4. It is, indeed, Vulgate similarly “ with head bent down;" the Eastern called forth by the last sin of Ahab, but the ground versions and Josephus, “ barefooted,” which seems far assigned for it (verse 22) extends to the whole course of the most probable meaning. idolatry and apostasy, “making Israel to sin.” It is (29) How Ahab humbleth himself.-As there only this more general sentence which is postponed by is something entirely characteristic of Ahab's imthe repentance of Ahab (verse 29).

pressible nature in this burst of penitence; so in the (25) The dogs shall eat Jezebel.-In all his acceptance of it there is a remarkable illustration of address to Ahab, Elijah has, as yet, disdained to name the Divine mercy. The repentance might seem not Ahab gathers

I. KINGS, XXII.

the Prophets.

B.C. 497.

taking it

son's days will I bring the evil upon his "2 Chron. 18. , king of Israel gathered the prophets tohouse.

gether, about four hundred men, and

said unto them, Shall I go against RaCHAPTER XXII.—(1) And they con

moth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? tinued three years without war between

And they said, Go up; for the Lord Syria and Israel. (2) And it came to

shall deliver it into the hand of the pass in the third year, that "Jehosha

king. phat the king of Judah came down to cha silent from (7) And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not the king of Israel. (3) And the king of

here a prophet of the Lord besides, Israel said unto his servants, Know ye

that we might enquire of him? (8) And that Ramoth in Gilead is our's, and we

the king of Israel said unto Jehoshabe Istill, and take it not out of the hand

phat, There is yet one inan, Micaiah the of the king of Syria ? (4) And he said

son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with

of the LORD: but I hate him ; for he me to battle to Ramoth-gilead? And " 2 Kings & 7. doth not prophesy good concerning me, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel,

but evil. And Jeboshaphat said, Let "I am as thou art, my people as thy

not the king say so. people, my horses as thy horses.

(9) Then the king of Israel called an (57 And Jehoshaphat said unto the king

2 officer, and said, Hasten hither Micaiah of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the

the son of Imlah. (10) And the king word of the LORD to day. (6) Then the

of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of

2 Or, eunuch.

only to come too late, but to be the mere offspring in the territory of Gad; then (in 1 Kings iv. 13) as of fear-more sensible of the shame of discovery than the centre of one of the provinces of Solomon, including of the shamefulness of sin. Man's judgment would the towns of Jair, and the strong hill country of Argob. despise it; God sees in its imperfection some germs of In the Syrian wars it appears as a frontier fortress, promise, and His partial remission of penalty shows it to taken and retaken. It had fallen into the hands of the be not disregarded in His sight. Ahab himself is still to Syrians, and had not been restored according to prosuffer the predicted doom; but he is to die in honour, and mise. The defeat and death of Ahab were subsequently the utter destruction waits, till Jehoram shall fill up the avenged by Jehoram, who took it, and held it against measure of iniquity.

all the attacks of the enemy (2 Kings ix. 1–14).

(4) I am as thou art.-The answer is apparently XXII.

one of deference, as well as friendship, to the stronger Chap. xxii. is the continuation of chap. xx. (which kingdom. It must be remembered that, as he whole in the LXX. immediately precedes it) in record of chapter shows, Ahab had now returned to the worship the Syrian war, but in tone far grander and spiritually of the Lord. instructive, a fit catastrophe of the tragedy of Ahab's (6) Prophets ... four hundred. These were reign. In it, for the first time since chap. xv. 24, the clearly not avowed prophets of Baal, or the Asherah history of Judah is touched upon; and there is an ("groves”), as is obvious from the context and from their almost verbal coincidence with 2 Chron. xviii.

words in verse 12. But Jehoshaphat's discontent makes

it equally clear that they were not in his view true (1) Three years without war.–The period is prophets of Jehovah. Probably they were devoted, clearly reckoned from the rash peace made by Ahab like the old prophet of Bethel, to the service of the with Ben-hadad in chap. xx. 34. Evidently the king of idolatry of Jeroboam. Syria has recovered his independence, if not superiority; (7) Is there not here a prophet of the Lord.he has not restored Ramoth-gilead according to his The rendering of the great name Jehovah ” by “the promise; and his revived power is sufficient to cope Lord” obscures the sense of the passage. In the previous with the united forces of Israel and Judah. The utterance of the prophets the word (Adonai) is merely sagacity of the prophetic rebuke of chap. xx. 42 has been " Lord” in the etymological sense, which might mean amply justified

the Supreme God of any religion. Jehoshaphat, struck (2) Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down. with their shrinking from the distinctive name Jehovah, -The fuller account of the Chronicles (2 Chron. xvii.) asks, “ Is there not a prophet of Jehovah P”-one who notices that the early part of his reign had been marked is not ashamed or afraid to speak in His awful name? by a continuance or increase of the prosperity of Asa; (8) Micaiah (“who is like Jehovah ")—the name but (chap. xviii. 1) adds, in significant connection, he being the same as Micah. According to Josephus, he “had riches and honour in abundance, and joined was the prophet of chap. xx. 35–43, who had “ proaffinity with Ahab,” so that this prosperity was, at any phesied evil ” of Abab for his rash action towards Benrate in part, dependent on a change of policy from enmity hadad, and had already been imprisoned by him. The to alliance, with apparently some measure of dependence, whole description, and especially the words of verse 26, dangerous alike spiritnally and politically, but probably seem to confirm this account. thought to be a necessity. The visit of Jehoshaphat (2 (10) Each on his throne.-The description evi. Chron. xviii. 2) was one of festivity, of which Ahab dently implies that, having reluctantly consented to took advantage.

send for Micaiah, Ahab seeks to overawe him by display (3) Ramoth in Gilead.-The city is first mentioned not only of royal pomp, but of prophetic inspiration, pro(in Deut. iv. 43; Josh. xx. 8, xxi. 38) as a city of refuge fessing to come, like his own, from the Lord Jehovah.

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The Prophecy

I. KINGS, XXII.

of Micaiah.

1 Heb., Noor.

Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a lvoid 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 hast consumed them. (12) And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramoth-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 which 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 Ramoth-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 which 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 said unto Jehoshaphat, 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 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 2 persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? 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

2 Or, deceive.

(11) Zedekiah.-The name itself ("righteousness of religion show, it is never rooted out, except by real Jehovah” must certainly imply professed devotion to spiritual knowledge of God and of His dealings with the true God, whose Name here is first uttered by him. the soul. Symbolic action was not unfrequent in the prophets. (15) Go, and prosper.-Micaiah is a true disciple (See Note on chap. xi. 30.) The use of the horns, as of Elijah in the defiant irony of the tone in which he emblems of victorious strength, is also familiar, as in the takes up and mocks the utterance of the false prophets, utterance of Balaam (Num. xxiii. 22), in the blessing of so bitterly as at once to show Ahab his scorn of them Moses (Deut. xxxiii. 17), in the song of Hannah (1 and him. But his message is couched in metaphor and Sam. iii. 1), in the visions of Daniel and Zechariah symbolic vision, unlike the stern directness of the style (Dan. viii. 3–10; Zech. i. 18, 19).

of Elijah. (12) For the Lord shall deliver it.-The pro

(19–22) The symbolic vision of Micaiah, which natu. phets, led by Zedekiah, now venture to use the Name of Jehovah, from which they had at first shrunk. The

rally recalls the well-known description in Job i. 6–12

of the intercourse of Satan with the Lord Himself, is to description, however, of their united reiteration of the

be taken as a symbol, and nothing more. (Josephus, cry, evidently with increasing excitement, reminds us of the repeated “O Baal, hear us ” of Mount Carmel,

characteristically enough, omits it altogether.) The one and stands in similar contrast with the calm, stern

idea to be conveyed is the delusion of the false prophets utterance of the true prophet.

by a spirit of evil, as a judgment of God on Ahab's (13) Behold now.-In the whole history, as es

sin, and on their degradation of the prophetic office.

The imagery is borrowed from the occasion. It is obvi. pecially in the words of the officer, there is evidence of the strange confusion of idea, so common in super

ously drawn from the analogy of a royal court, where, as stition at all times, which in some sense believes in the

is the case before Micaiah's eyes, the king seeks counsel inspiration of the prophets as coming from God, and

against his enemies. yet fancies that they can direct it as they will, and that (21) A spirit. It should be the spirit. The definite accordingly they can be bribed, or beguiled, or coerced, article is explained by some, perhaps rather weakly, as to “prophesy smooth things.” The extremest form of simply anticipatory of the description which follows. this infatuation is exemplified in Simon Magus, who Others take the phrase to signify " the spirit of probelieved that the Apostles were the medium for con- phecy,” a kind of emanation from the Godhead, looked ferring the highest spiritual gifts from God, and yet upon as the medium of the prophetic inspiration, which madly persuaded himself that this power could be is an expression conceivable, but certainly unprecebought for money (Acts viii. 18, 19). The natural dented. Perhaps without introducing into this passage result is a mingled awe and contempt, such as Balak the distinct idea of “the Satan,” i.e., the enemy,

which feels for Balaam. The delusion is, of course, silenced we find in Job i., ii.; 1 Chron. xxi. 1; Zech. iii. 1, 2, at once by such declarations as the stern reply of it may be best to interpret it by the conception, common Micaiah, which even Balaam could convey (Num. xxii. to all religions recognising the terrible existence of 18). But, as all false religions and corruptions of true evil in the world, of a spiritual power of evil (called Micaiah is

I. KINGS, XXII.

sent to Prison.

ber to chumbcr.

persuade him. (22) And the Lord said ja 2 Chron. 18. 23. come in peace.

(28) And Micaiah said, unto him, Wherewith? And he said,

If thou return at all in peace, the I will go forth, and I will be a lying

Lord hath not spoken by me. And he spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.

said, Hearken, 0 people, every one of And he said, Thou shalt persuade him,

you. and prevail also: go forth, and do so.

(29) So the king of Israel and Jehosha(23) Now therefore, behold, the LORD

phat the king of Judah went up to Rahath put a lying spirit in the mouth of 10r, from cham- moth-gilead. (30) And the king of Israel all these thy prophets, and the LORD

said unto Jehoshaphat, 3 I will disguise hath spoken evil concerning thee.

myself, and enter into the battle; but (24) But Zedekiah the son of Che

put on thy robes. And the king of Isnaanah went near, and smote Micaiah

rael disguised himself, and went into the on the cheek, and said, a Which way

battle. (31) But the king of Syria comwent the Spirit of the Lord from me to

manded his thirty and two captains speak onto thee? (25) And Micaiah said,

that had rule over his chariots, saying, Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when the chamber Fight neither with small nor great, save thou shalt go linto ?an inner chamber

only with the king of Israel. (32) And to hide thyself.

it came to pass, when the captains of (26) And the king of Israel said, Take

the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon

said, Surely it is the king of Israel. the governor of the city, and to Joash

And they turned aside to fight against the king's son ; (27) and say, Thus saith

him :

and Jehoshaphat cried out. the king, Put this fellow in the prison,

(33) And it came to pass, when the capand feed him with bread of affliction * Simmer mehtains of the chariots perceived that it and with water of affliction, until I

was not the king of Israel, that they

sell, id enter
into the buttle.

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euphemistically, “ the spirit ”) overruled to work out to the whole assembly to bear witness of it. Of Mithe judgments of God. The absolute subordination of caiah's fate we know nothing ; but it is hard to suppose such spirits of evil in every notice of them in the that his bold and defiant testimony could escape the Old Testament precludes all danger of the monstrous extreme penalty of death, when Ahab's fall gave dualism of so many Eastern religions. The reference opportunity of revival to the ruthlessness of Jezebel. of the power of divination to such spirits is found in (28) Hearken, 0 people. It is a curious coinci. the New Testament also. (See Acts xvi.

16–18.) dence that these are the opening words of the prophetic (23) The Lord . the Lord.—The emphatic Book of Micah. They are not found in some MSS. of repetition of the Name Jehovah here is an implied an- the LXX., and are supposed by some to be an early swer to the insinuation of mere malice in verses 8, 18. interpolation in this passage from that book.

(24) Smote Micaiah on the cheek.-The act is not (29) So . . . Jehoshaphat.—The continued adhesion only the expression of contempt (see Isa. 1. 6; Micah of Jehoshaphat, against the voice of prophecy, which v.l; Matt. v. 39), but of professed indignation at words he had himself invoked (severely rebuked in 2 Chron. of blasphemy against God, or of contempt for His xviii. 31), and, indeed, the subservient part which he vicegerents; as is seen clearly, when it is recorded as plays throughout, evidently indicate a position of virtual directed against Our Lord or against St. Paul (John dependence of Judah on the stronger power of Israel, xviii. 22, 23; Acts xxiii. 2). The words which accompany of which the alliance by marriage-destined to be all it evidently convey a sarcastic reference to the know. but fatal to the dynasty of David (2 Kings xi. 1, 2) ledge of the secret dealings of God, implied in Micaiah's -was at once the sign and the cause. vision, with a view to turn it into ridicule. Micaiah's (30) I will disguise myself. The precaution of swer accordingly passes them by, and merely declares Ahab is almost ludicrously characteristic of his temper the shame and terror, with which Zedekiah shall find of half-belief and half-unbelief. In itself it is, of course, out hereafter the truth of the prophecy of evil. Jose. plainly absurd to believe that God's judgment has in phus has a curious addition, that Zedekiah challenged all probability been pronounced, and yet to suppose Micaiah to wither up his hand, like the hand of Jero- that it can be averted by so puerile a precaution. But, boam at Bethel, and sconted his prophecy as inconsistent as experience shows, it is not the less on that account with that of Elijah (Antt. viii. 15, § 4).

true to human nature, especially such a nature as his, (26) Joash the king's son, of whom we know always “ halting between two opinions. nothing hereafter, is apparently entrusted (like the (31) His thirty and two captains.-See chap. seventy sons of 2 Kings x. 1) to the charge of the xx. 16, 24. The power of Syria had already recovered governor of the city, perhaps in theory left in command itself, and is directed with singular virulence against of Samaria with him.

the person of the king who had unwisely spared it. (27) Bread of affliction ...-Comp. Isa. xxx. 20. Ahab is represented as the mover of the whole war, and This is a command of severe treatment, as well as as fighting bravely to the death. scanty fare. Ahab's affectation of disbelief-which his (32) Cried out-i.e., to rally his people round him. subsequent conduct shows to be but affectation-simply In 2 Chron. xviii. 31' it is added, “And the Lord draws down a plainer and sterner prediction, accom- helped him; and God moved them to depart from panied moreover, if our text be correct, by an appeal him."

an.

The Death of Ahab.

I. KINGS, XXII.

Jehoshaphat's Reign.

the breastplate,

3 Heb., made sick.

4 Hel)., axcan led.

turned back from pursuing him. (34) And she is in his sim- armour; according "unto the word of a certain man drew a bow lat a venture,

the Lord which he spake. and smote the king of Israel between

(39) Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, the joints of the harness : wherefore '2 yeh, joints and and all that he did, and the ivory house he said unto the driver of his chariot,

which he made, and all the cities that Turn thine hand, and carry me out of

he built, are they not written in the the host; for I am 3 wounded. (35) And

book of the chronicles of the kings of the battle 4increased that day : and the

Israel ? (40) So Ahab slept with his king was stayed up in his chariot

fathers; and Ahaziah his son reigned against the Syrians, and died at even:

in his stead. and the blood ran out of the wound into

(41) And Jehoshaphat the son of Asa the 5 midst of the chariot. (36) And there

began to reign over Judah in the fourth went a proclamation throughout the 5 He:)., borom, year of Ahab king of Israel. (42) Jehost about the going down of the sun,

hoshaphat was thirty and five years old saying, Every man to his city, and every

when he began to reign; and he reigned man to his own country. (37) So the

twenty and five years in Jerusalem. king died, and was brought to Samaria;

And his mother's name was Azubah the and they buried the king in Samaria.

daughter of Shilhi. (43) And he walked (38) And one washed the chariot in the

in all the ways of Asa his father; he pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked

turned not aside from it, doing that up his blood; and they washed his 2 Chron. 30. 31. which was right in the eyes of the Lord:

B.C. 914.

6 Heb., came,

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a ch. 21. 19.

(34) A certain man.-Josephus says, “a young outweigh the other. Naboth, in any case, is likely to man named Naaman.” (Comp. 2 Kings v.1: " because have had land in his native place, which would be forby him the Lord had given deliverance to Syria.”) feited to the king; and there would still be an appro

The driver of his chariot.- In the Egyptian priate judgment in making it also the scene of the disand Assyrian monuments, as subsequently in the Greek honoured death of the last king of Ahab's house. We of the Homeric days, the war-chariot holds but two, may notice, moreover, that the quotation in 2 Kings the warrior and the charioteer. This is the first place ix. is not taken from Elijah's words against Ahab, where the chariot, introduced by Solomon from Egypt nor does it contain the characteristic notice of the (chap. x. 29), is mentioned as actually used in war. dogs licking the blood;" though it is noticed as a ful(Soe subsequently, 2 Kings ix. 16, 21, xxiii. 30; and filment of the subsequent prophecy of chapter xxi. 24 compare the proverbial expression of this period, "The against Ahab's house. chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof,” 2 Kings (39) The ivory house. -See Amos ii. 15. We j. 12, xiii. 14.)

note that now, for the first time since the days of (35) The king was stayed up ::

-Ahab's re- Solomon (chap. x. 18—20,39), the use of ivory, in this pentance, imperfect as it was, has at least availed to case for inlaying the walls of houses—so characteristic secure him a warrior's death, before " the evil came of Zidonian art, is mentioned. The “undesigned coon his house and on Israel. Evidently he conceals the incidence,” in relation to the renewed intercourse with deadliness of his hurt, though it disables him from action, Zidon, is remarkable. and bravely sustains the battle, till his strength fails. All the cities :-Possibly the cities ceded by Then the news spreads, and the army disperses; but Ben-hadad, and rebuilt as strongholds. The description the subsequent history seems to show that no fatal shows that Ahab's reign was externally one of power defeat was incurred. This union of desperate physical and prosperity, as yet unimpaired even by his death bravery with moral feebleness and cowardice is common and disaster at Ramoth-gilead. The fruits of spiritual enough in history, and (as Shakspeare has delighted to corruption had not yet ripened. show in his Macbeth) most true to nature.

(41) Jehoshaphat.-The narrative here, so far as it (38) They washed his armour. — There seems is full and continuous, centres round the prophetic work little doubt that this is a mistranslation, and that the of Elijah and Elisha, the scene of which was in Israel ; LXX. rendering (supported also by Josephus) is correct: and the compiler contents himself with the insertion of “And the harlots bathed in it,” that is, in the blood- a few brief annalistic notices of the kingdom of Judah, stained pool, the usual public bathing-place of their taking up the thread of the narrative of chapter xv. 24, shamelessness. The dog and the harlot are the animal except where (as in 2 Kings iii.) it becomes again and human types of uncleanness.

connected with the history of Israel. In the ChroniAccording unto the word of the Lord. The cles, on the contrary, there is a full and interesting reference to the emphatic prophecy of Elijah is unmis- account of the reign of Jehoshaphat, and especially takable, and the context fixes its fulfilment plainly as of his great religious revival (2 Chron. xvii.—XX.), having taken place in Samaria. The difficulty is, of coinciding with this chapter, almost verbally, in the course, the notice in 2 Kings ix. 25, where the dead account of the battle at Ramoth-gilead. The b:ief body of Jehoram is cast " in the portion of the field of notices here of the religious work of Jehoshaphat, Naboth,” evidently at Jezreel ; with quotation of the his "might,” and his wars," agree entirely with “ burden of the Lord laid upon him," " I will requite this fuller record. thee in this plot, saith the Lord.” The reconcilement (13) The high places were not taken away.is, with our knowledge, difficult, if not impossible. But This agrees with 2 Chron. xx. 33, and stands in apthe reference in the text is so much clearer, that it must parent contradiction with 2 Chron. xvii, 6 : He took

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