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13 For all the sins of Baasha, and the sins of Elah his son, by which

they sinned, and by which they made Israel to sin, in provoking 14 the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities.* Now the

rest of the acts of Elah, and all that he did, [are) they not written

in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel 15 In the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah, did

Zimri reign seven days in Tirzah. And the people [were) encamped against Gibbethon, which [belonged] to the Philistines.

The Philistines had retaken it, and the Israelites now invaded it 16 again. And the people (that were] encamped, all the army,

heard, say, Zimri hath conspired, and hath also slain the king :

wherefore all Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, king 17 over Israel that day in the camp. And Omri went up from

· Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah. 18 And it came to pass, when Zimri saw that he was not able to

defend himself, and that the city was taken, that he went into the palace of the king's house, the strongest part, and, being afraid of some shameful punishment, and lest the treasury should fall into

Omri's hands, he burned the king's house over him with fire, 19 and died, For his sins which he sinned in doing evil in the sight

of the LORD, in walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin 1 which he did to make Israel to sin. In this short reign he gave

indications of an idolatrous disposition, and his resolution to continue 20 it, perhaps by some public edict. Now the rest of the acts of

Zimri, and his treason that he wrought, the means hie used to bring about his conspiracy against the king his master, [are] they

not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 21 Then were the people of Israel divided into two parts : half

of the people followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him

king, and half followed Omni. : The people not liking to have a liking imposed upon them by the soldiers, there was a civil war, 22 which lasted for some years, in which Tibni was slain. But the

people that followed Omri prevailed against the people that fol

lowed Tibni the son of Ginath : so Tibni died, and Omri reigned. 23 In the thirty and first year of Asa king of Judah, began Omri

to reign over Israel twelve years : six years reigned he in Tir24 zah, while molested by Tibni. And, the palace being burned, he

bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, about seven hundred pounds, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, owner of

the hill, Samaria, which in time became the royal city of the len 25. tribes. But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the LORD, and

did worse than all that [were] before him. He warshifiped the calves, and made a strict and severe law to prevent any from going

to Jerusalem, and to oblige his people to idolatry. (See Micah vi. 26 16.) For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat,

and in his sin where with he made Israel to sin, to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities.

There was a remarkable similitude between the destruction of Baasha's Family and Jeroboam's; the son of each reigned but about two years ; they were both slain there was no successor to either family ; and both wete slain while the same city was besirged.

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27 Now the rest of the acts of Omri which he did, and his

might that he showed, [are) they not written in the book of the 28 chronicles of the kings of Israel ? So Omri slept with his

fathers, and was buried in Samaria : and Ahab his son reigned

in his stead. 29

And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel : and Ahab the son

of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. 30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD 31 above all that (were] before him. And it came to pass, as if it

had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians,* and he went and served Baal,

and worshipped him as his god, without any regard to Jehovah.t 32 And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house or temple of 33 Baal which he had built in Samaria, the royal city. And Ahab

made a grove, where he offered human sacrifices, and used many aborinable rites ; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before

him. 34 In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho, as a seat of

idolatrous worship, in contempt of the curse in Joshua, vi. 26, and as an affront to Jehovah ; but he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his first born, and set up the gates thereof in hỉs youngest (son) Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun.

REFLECTIONS.

E infer, that those who resemble others in their sins,

may expect to resemble them in their punishments. Jeroboam's and Baasha's families were like each other in their sins and in their ruin. How solicitous should we bę to avoid those sins which have brought poverty, shame, and ruin upon other families, Iest we should suffer like them. Let us take that general advice with regard to all wicked men, Come out from among them; partake nol of their sins, lest ye partake of their plagues.

2. There is an awful warning to drunkards, in Elah and Zimri,

9. How casily may such become a prey to death, or injury, when they have no reason or power to help themselves! To how many dangerous accidents are such exposed ! To sudden death, and ever.

She was an heathen princess, and it was contrary to the divine command to marry such, and she was an infamous woman, we read of her witchcraft and whoredoms, he'r idolatries and persecutions of God's prophets, in Rev. ii. 20. Persons who seduced others to uncleanness and idolatry, were called by her name.

+ Baal signifies Lord; it was a name given to the sun, the idol of the Phenicians, and afterwards to dead heroes and kings whom they deified. Jeroboam kept up a regard to Jehovab, but worshipped him through, the medium of the calves, chiefly out of policy ; but Ahab was an idolater out of pure love to strange gods.

1 His eldest son died when he laid the foundation, his youngest when he had finished the gate ; and the rest suddenly, while he was building ; perhaps in the hurry of his work he did not mind the hand of Providence. This was four hundred and sixty years after the threaten. ing, and should have taught the people to have believed God's threatining that he would root them out of the land if they were rebellious and idolatrous.

19 to slay my son ?* And, though Elijah was naturally of a warm

temper, yet considering the affliction of the woman, and the worth of her character, he excused this sally of immoderale passion, and with great meekness he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft,

where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed : hence it apo 20 pears it was a young child. And he cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, hast thou also brought evil

, upon the 21 widow with whom I sojourned by slaying her son ?' And he

stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the

LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's 22 soul come into him again. And the LORD heard the voice of

Elijah ; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he 23 revived. And Flijah took the child, and brought him down

out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother, no doubt with great joy, as a favour to him and the poor widow; and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth ; see how much

mercy, instead of severe justice, thou hast found on my account. 24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou

[art] a man of God, [and] that the word of the Lord in thy mouth [is] truth.!

REFLECTIONS.

W

1. E. have here an instance of the great efficacy of fervent

prayer. James y. 17. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are ; and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and siz months. The fervent prayer of this righteous man availed much, not only stopped the windows of heaven, but raised the widow's son to life. But the general truth it suggests is, that God is near to the souls that seek him, and his ear is ever open to their cry.

2. We have here undoubted proof of God's command over all creatures. He uses them in judgment or mercy, as he pleases ; so he did the ravens. Of all birds, these might have been thought the most unlikely to execute such a commission. Yet God over. came their instinct, directed their motions, and made them constant in bringing their supplies to the prophet. Who would not trust him in the greatest straits? He can provide tables in the wilder

She was thrown into great perturbation and agony of spirit on account of har son's sickness, and spoke in a basty, passionate manner. It was a part of wisdom to know that af flictions were a punishment for sin; but it was weakness to charge it upon the prophi, who had saved ber and her child from death. She takes it for granted that Elijah by his prophetic spirit had discovered some of the sins of her former life, and thought it hard to have no better return for his entertainment, than to be punished so awfully, in so tender a part.

+ Every word here is emphatical. Thou art my God; this is a poor widow; this is her only son, the affliction is upon jne, as I am in the house; it will be a reflection on thy prophets, as if they were impotent, or ungrateful, and brought mischief wherever they came. The faith of this prayer is astonishing, as it seems to be an unexampled thing ; there is no istance

of it ever before. į She was undoubtedly transported with joy. She believed he was a prophet before, an called him a man of God in v. 18.' but the death of her child made her doubt. This miracic however confirmed her faith, and made her regard all his instructions. It was probably in. rended as a remarkable proof of the resurrection, and the existence of the soul in a separate state ; thereby to encourage the righteous, and revive religion when it was at so low An cbs.

ness ; ravens shall become purveyors and servitors, rather than his prophets shall be starved or injured.

3. We learn to be liberal, even of a little. If God has given us but little, let us be ready to do good to others ; to let them share with us. Water was at that time a scarce commodity ; yet the poor widow, in her great necessity, was ready to relieve a stranger. Those who are in low circumstances have no excuse for being uncharitable. Let every one give of his little. Even a cup of cold water shall not lose its reward.

4. We should learn, when Providence is most remarkably kind, to prepare for rebukes and trials. This woman was happy in a constant supply of food, in the society, instructions and prayers of the prophet, and then her son died. We should never think our mountain stands so strong that it cannot be moved. Let us consider this as a changing world, and use relations and comforts as though We had them not ; sitting loose to all, for the fashion of this world passeth away.

5. Let us improve our affictions as seasons for reflecting on our sin. The design of affliction is to call sin to remembrance, to embitter it to us, and increase our hatred of it. May we labour to improve it to this purpose ! then we shall not suffer in vain. It is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more. Job xxxiv. 31,

6. Let us think of the joy with which saints shall be restored at the general resurrection, when all eyes shall be fixed on Christ, by whom the great work shall be accomplished. With what rapture did the widow receive her son ! With what respect and joy did she look upon Elijah! So saints, especially relations and acquaintance, shall meet one another above, and be joined in their complete persons at the resurrection ; they shall adore the power and grace that produced the change, shall see all the words of the Lord accomplished, and Jesus appearing as the faithful and true witness.

7. When God's own people are rebellious and disobedient, he confers their privileges upon strangers. Our Lord's own reflection is illustrated by this story, Luke iv. 25. But I tell you of a truth many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land. But unto none of them was Elias sent, 'save unto Sarepta a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. God punishes people for their obstinacy and unbelief, by taking away their privileges, and transferring them to strangers, if they do not value and improve them. May we of this nation consider such awful dispensations, lest the gospel be taken from us, and sent to a nation that will make a better improvement of it.

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CHAP. XVIII.

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Elijah's interview with Obadiak and Ahab, and Baal's prophets, and

the removal of the calamity by obtaining rain, ND it came to pass [after) many days, that the word of

the Lord came to Elijah in the third year of his flight, saying, Go, show thyself unto Ahab, acquaint him with the cause

of the calamity, and exhort him to remove it, then I will send 2 rain upon the earth. And Elijah went boldly to show himself

unto Ahah. And there was] a sore famine in Samaria, which

might have provoked Ahab the more to destroy him. 3 And Ahab called Obadiah, which (was] the governor of [his]

house. Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly ; he was a good

man, who did not worship Baal ; but Ahab connived at it, because 4 he was a faithful servant : For it was (so,] when Jezebel cut off

the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, or students, who were preachers of righteousness, and some

of them occasionally inspired, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and 5 fed them with bread and water. And Alab said unto Obadiah,

Go into the land, unto all fountains of water ; and unto all brooks, where grass was most likely to be found : peradventure

we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we 6 loose not all the beasts, many of which are dead already. So they

divided the land between them to pass throughout it : Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself; he would trust none but himself and Obadiah, lest others,

by presents or entreaties, might conceal grass or food. 7 And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him :

and he knew him, and fell on his face, showing him the greatest respect, and said, [Art) thou that my lord Elijah ? This was a

strange word from the lord high steward of Israel to a poor prophet. 8. And he answered him, I (am :) go tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah 19 [is here.] And he said, What have I sinned, that thou wouldst

deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab to slay me? it will be 10 at the hazard of my life to give him this information. [As) the

LORD thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee, to bring thee back to revoke the

sentence : and when they said, [He is) not (there ;] he took an Il oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not. And

now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah [is here.) 12 And it shall come to pass, [as soon as) I am gone from thee,

that the Spirit of the LORD shall carry thee whither I know not ; * and (so) when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me because I did not secure thee when thout wast in my power : but I thy servant fear the Lord from my

youth ; I have not been like the rest of the courtiers, and there. 13 fore hope thou wilt be concerned for my safety : Was it not cold

• Perhaps this was sometimes the case, when Ahab and Jezebel bunted him.

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