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THE WICKEDNESS OF AHAZ.
NUMBERS OF THE PEO
PLE OF JUDAH SLAIN AND CARRIED INTO CAPTIVITY.
From 2 Chronicles, Chap. xxviii.
Araz wąs twenty years old when he began to reign.
But he did not that which was right in the eyes of the LORD.
For he: walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim.
Moreover, he burned incense in the valley of the son of Hinnon, and burned his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.
He sacrificed also. and burned incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
Wherefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria : and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus, And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter.
For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men ; because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers.
And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, slew Maaseiah the king's son, and Azricam the governor of the house, and Elkanah that was next to the king.
And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand women, sons and daughters, and took also away much-spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria.
But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was
and he went out before the host that came to St. maria, and said unto them, Behold, because the LORD God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he hath de. livered them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage, that reacheth up unto heaven.
And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondmen and bond-women unte you : but are there not with you, even with you, sing, against the LORD your God?
Now hear me therefore, and deliver the captives again, which ye have taken captive of your brethren: for the fierce wrath of the Lord is upon you.
Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Me. shillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war.
And said unto them, Ye shall not bring in the captives hither : for whereas we have offended against the Lord already, ye intend to add more to our sins and to our trespass ; for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.
So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation.
And the men which were expressed by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them upod asses, and brought them to Jericho the city of palm trees, to their brethren; then they returned to Samaria.
At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath 10 Syria, and dravé the Jews from Elath; and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
It is needless to comment on the wickedness of Ahaz, as the enormity.of his guilt is so apparent; but we may observe, that it was greatly aggravated by his inattention to the goodness of the LORD who sent bis prophetto him. Pekah, king of Israel, was very inveterate against Judah ;; and there is no knowing to what extremities he would have proceeded, if he had not been restrained by a prophet.
It is shocking to read of wars between those who were so nearly related, and who sprang from the same stock. From the prophet's reproof to the Israelites of Samaria, we may learn, that when unhappy animosities prevail among those who are properly one people, all cruelty and oppression should be avoided by the victors. They should call to mind, that the conquered are breEhren, and on no account keep them in captivity, or delight in destroying their country. The method which the heads of Ephraim took, in administering to the ne
cessities of the unfortunate prisoners, was truly noble, and - worthy of imitation.
IMPIETY OF AHAZ-HIS DEATH.
From 2 Chron. Chap: xxviii.—2 Kings, Chap. xvi.
At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him.
For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, and carried away captives.
The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of Judah, and had taken Beth
-shemesh and Ajalon, and Gederoth, and Shocho, with the villages thereof, Timnah with the villages thereof, Gimzo also, and the villages thereof: and they dwelt there.
For the Lord brought Judah low, because of Ahaz king of Israel: for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the LORD.
So Aha” sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son : come up and save me out of the hand of the king 'of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me.
And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king's' "house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria.
And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him : for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin.
And Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened him not.
For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria : but he helped him not.
And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Da. mascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof.
And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Darrascus : so Urijah the priest made it against kin, Ahaz caine from Damascus.
And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar : and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon.
And he burned his burnt-offering and his meat-offering, and poured his drink-offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace-offerings upon the altar.
And he brought also the brazen altar which was before the Lord, from the fore-front of the house, from between the altar and the house of the Lord, and put it on the north side of the altar.
And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt-offering, and the evening meat-offering; and the king's burnt. sacrifice, and his meat-offering ; with the burnt-offering, of all the people of the land, and their meat-offering, and their drink-offerings ;- and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt-offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice: and the brazen altar shall be for me to en. 'quire by.
Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded.
And king Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases, and removed the laver from off them; and took down the sea from off the brazen oxen that were under it, and put it upon a pavement of stones.
And the covert for the sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king's entry without, turned he from the house of the Lord, for the king of Assyria.
And in the tinie of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD : this is that king Ahaz.
For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus which shote him : and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel.
And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house o God, and cut in pieces the ressels of the house of VOL, III,