Page images
PDF
EPUB

And they laid hands on her, and she went by the way, by which the horses came into the king's house, and there was she slain.

And Jehoiada made a covenant between him, and between all the people, and between the king, that they should be the Lord's people.

Then all the people went to the house of Baal, and brake it down, and brake his altars and his images in pieces, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altar.

Also Jehoiada appointed the officers of the house of the Lord by the hand of the priests the Levites, whom David had distributed in the house of the Lord, to offer the burnt-offerings of the LORD, as it is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, as it was ordained by David.

And he set the porters at the gates of the house of the LORD, that none which was unclean in any thing should enter in.

And he took the captains of hundreds, and the nobles, and the governors of the people, and all the people of the land, and brought down the king from the house of the LORD: and they came through the high gate into the king's house, and set the king upon the throne of the kingdom.

And all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet, after that they had slain Athaliah with the sword.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. In this Section, we may observe the dreadful effects of impiety and ambition. It is remarked, that the affection of parents is generally strongest to the second generation, that they love their grand-children, not only on account of the relation they bear to themselves, but for the sake

of

of those, whose immediate offspring they are. How shocking is it to read of Athaliah's attempt to cut off the whole race of her's, that she might gratify lier boundless ambition ; but, as the apostle to the Romans hints *, it is the usual effect of impiety, to root out natural affec. tion; and we cannot wonder that she, who could counsel her own son to do wickedly, should proceed to this extremity of cruelty. The justice of God, in suffering Athaliah to come to such a wretched end need no comment, neither is there occasion to enlarge on the faithfulness of the LORD God, displayed in the preservation of Joash. It may however be proper to observe, that this young prince found in the temple an asylum for his helpless innocence, when there was no other place of refuge for him, which is great encouragement to chil. dren to put their trust in the Lord, and also to fre. quent places of public worship. How many by neglecting them, to pursue idle sports, have come to un. timely ends!

SECTION LXXVI.

THE REIGN OF JOASH (CALLED ALSO JEHOASH)

KING OF JUDAH.

From 2 Chron. Chap. xxiv.-2 Kings, Chap. xii. Joash was seven years old when he began to reign.

And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest, and he had two wives, and sons and daughters.

And it came to pass after this, that Joash was minde ed to repair the house of the LORD.

(For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken

up

the house of God; and also all the dedicated

* Romans, i. 31.

things of the house of the Lord did they bestow upon Baalim)

So the workmen wrought, and the work was per. fected by them, and they set the house of God in his state, and strengthened it.

But Jehoiada waxed old, and was full of days when he died; an hundred and thirty years old was he when he died.

And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and toward his house.

Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance unto the king. Then the king hearkened unto them.

And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols : and wrath came upon

Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass. Yet he sent prophets to them to bring them again unto the Lord, and they testified against them: but they would not give ear.

And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada, the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgrese ye

the commandments of the LORD that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken

you. And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD.

Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada Zechariah's father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, Zechariah said, The Lord look upon it, and requite it. Then Hazeal king of Syria went up, and fought against Gath, and took it: and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem.

against

And Joash king of Judah took all the hallowed things that Jehoshaphat and Jehoram and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own hallowed things, and all the gold that was found in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and in the king's house, and sent it to Hazael king of Syria : and he went away from Jerusalem.

And it came to pass at the end of the year, that the host of Syria came up against him; and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people, and sent all the spoil of them unto the king of Damascus.

For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men, and the Lord delivered a very great host into their hand, because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers : so they executed judgment against Joash.

And when they were departed from him (for they left him in great diseases) his own servants conspired against him, for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed; and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchres of the kings. He reigned forty years.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.

Joash was extremely fortunate in the beginning of his reign, in being under the direction of so good and pious a man as Jehoiada, for both the king and his subjects experienced the happy effects of his excellent management. Whilst Joash continued under the influence of Jehoiada, he appeared wise and amiable, and

R

the

VOL. III.

the blessing of the Lord attended him; but as soon as he suffered himself to be perverted from the worship of the LORD, his happiness and prosperity forsook him, for wrath came upon him from the LORD; and the Syrians were permitted to prevail against him.

We may easily imagine the miseries which Judah en. dured, by falling into the cruel hands of Hazael ; yet they could not justly reproach God for raising them up such an enemy, as he would undoubtedly have been restrained from hurting thein, (as he was during the life of Jehoiada) if they had not provoked the Divine chastisement by their apostasy.

Nothing could be a greater insult to the Lorr', than the murder of the prophet Zechariah, whom they stoned whilst he was declaring the word of the Lok", in a place always deemed sacred, the court of the Temple. This wickedness was too notorious to escape

the vengeance of Gov; and it added greatly to the measure of the national guilt *.

How does every portion of sacred history exemplify the truth, justice, wisdom, and goodness of the SUPREME BEING!

SECTION LXXVII.

THE REIGN OF JEHOANAZ KING OF ISRAIL.

From 2 Kings, Chap. xiii. In the three and twentieth year of Joash the son of Ahaziah king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years.

And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of * See Matt. Chap. xxiii. 35.

Nebat,

« PreviousContinue »