« PreviousContinue »
And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah ; and they were smitten.
For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir every one helped to destroy another.
And when Judah came toward the watch-tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and be hold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.
And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abun. dance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil : it was so much.
And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah: for there they blessed the LORD. Therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day.
Then they returned every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the fore-front of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy: for the Lord had made them to rejoice over their enemies.
And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries, and harps, and trumpets, unto the house of the Lord.
And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.
So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet : for his God gave
him rest round about. And Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah; he was thirty VOL. III.
and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi.
And he walked in the way of Asa his father, and departed not from it, doing that which was right in the sight of the LORD.
Howbeit, the high places were not taken away; for as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers.
Now Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Je. horam his son reigned in his stead.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
Before Jehoshaphat went with Jehoram king of Israel on the expedition against the Moabites, he had taken great pains for the reformation of his own people, and the due administration of justice in his kingdom : and we have reason to believe, that he renewed his atten. tion to these important objects when he returned to Jerusalem, and it is likely, that he expected the usual blessings of peace and prosperity; but he was threatened with a powerful invasion from the Moabites, who in revenge for his assisting Jehoram, had collected a confederate army, and marched within a few miles of his capital before he had notice of their design. Jehoshaphat's conduct on this occasion was truly consistent with his duty as king of Judah ; for he did not begin with warlike preparations, but was solicitous first to secure the favour of God by humiliation and prayer. The people readily assembled to join with him, earnestly seeking the aid of the Lord. The prayer which Jehoshaphat offered up on this
occasion, secasion, is deservedly accounted one of the most ex. cellent in sacred history*. A gracious answer was sent by the prophet Jehaziel, and the king and people of Judah soon found, by joyful experience, how safe it was to put their whole trust and confidence in the salvation of the LORD, who certainly would not have permitted these haughty foes to invade His land, when the king was faithful, and the people obedient, if he had not intended to convince them, by a miraculous deliverance, that none should prevail against them if they believed his holy word, and served him with a willing mind.
It is supposed that the combined army was lying in ambush in different parts, to surprise the Israelites, when the LORD struck them with such terror and confusion, that they knew not friends from foes, but destroyed each other t.
It must have been a most transporting sight to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to behold Jehoshaphat and his troops return laden with costly spoils, triumphantly singing the praises of the LORD!
The honour which the king of Judah had lost in the eyes of the surrounding nations, by joining himself with Ahab and Ahaziah, was now restored, and peace, with all its train of blessings, crowned the end of his days.
Jeboshaphat himself continued stedfast in the ser. vice of God, and did every thing in his power to complete the reformation of his people. But though his authority obliged them to attend to the ordinances of religion, and they were on some occasions influenced by his exhortations and example, to turn to the LORD with sincerity, piety had not taken deep root in their hearts, or they certainly would have been solicitous to remove the higls
. places, and to serve God in a manner * See Patrick . Commentary. + Ibid. P2
perfectly perfectly agreeable to his Divine laws; as they had not only the Temple to resort to, but, in various places, priests and Levites to expound the law.
The good king Jehoshaphat certainly was one of the best monarchs that ever sat on the throne of Judah: he never discovered the least inclination to idolatry, nor do we read of his committing any sin as king of Israel, excepting that of forming alliances with the wicked kings of Israel, into which he seems to have fallen through the want of consideration, or a too ready desire of obliging others; but the least remonstrance or · reproof brought him to a sense of his duty, and he hastened to repent and regain the favour of God. Je. hoshaphat's behaviour, in respect to the invasion of the Moabites abounds with instruction worthy of the atten. tion of all the kings of the earth.
JAAMAN, THE SYRIAN GENERAL, CURED OF HIS LE.
PROSY BY ELISHA.
From 2 Kings, Chap. v.
Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Sy. ria, was a great man with his master, and honourable; because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour; but he was a leper.
And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid ; and she waited on Naaman's wife.
And she said unto her mistress, Would God my were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.
And one went in and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.
And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And Naaman departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten charges of raiment.
And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.
And it came to pass when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.
And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes ? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.
So Naaman came with his horses and with his cha. riot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven tinies, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away,
and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
Are not Abana and Pharphar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and