Page images
PDF
EPUB

for the maintenance of the priests and Levites. Judah was once more in an honourable and prosperous condi

tion, and had every encouragement to be faithful to the .LORD.

SECTION XCIV.

PART OF THE PROPHECY OF ISAIAH.

ADDRESSED TO THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL.

From Chap. xxx.

Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin.

That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked ; at my mouth ; to strengthen themselves in the strength, of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt !

Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.

For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes.

They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor-profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.

Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fall together.

For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose : therefore have I cried concerning this, their strength is to sit still. Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it

1

[ocr errors]

in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever :

That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord:

Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits :

Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy Ope of Israel to cease from before us.

Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in appression and perverseness, and stay thereon :

Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.

And he shall break it as the breaking of the potter's vessel, that is broken in pieces ; he shall not spare, co that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.

For thus saith the LORD God, the Holy One of Israel, in returning and rest shalt yet be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength ;

and

ye would not

Eut ye said, No ; for we will flee upon horses is there. fore shall ye fee : and we will ride upon the swift therefore shall they that parsue you be swift.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.

It was certainly foreknown to the Lord, that the Israelites would endeavour to form an alliance against the Assyrians, with the king of Egypt, and he graciously warned them not to take a measure so improper for those to pursue, who, as the descendants of Abraham,

Isaac, and Jacob, might with confidence seek Divine aid, if they would repent and return upto the LORD their God. The consequences that would follow their acting otherwise are here strongly pointed out ; and the offences for which the LORD resolved to desert them, and leave them as a prey to their enemies, are particularly enume. rated.

[blocks in formation]

gave him

AND Hoshea still reigned over Israel : against him came up Shalmanezar king of Assyria, and Hoshea became his servant, and

presents. And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea ; for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year : therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison.

Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years.

In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the city of the Medes;

Because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD theịr God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them.

For they served idols, whereof the Lord had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.

Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments. ard my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.

Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God.

Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight : there was none left but the tribe of Judah only:

So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day,

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS:

After the death of Tiglath-Pileser, Shalmanezar succeeded to the throne of Assyria, who obliged Hoshea to become tributary to him. So, king of Egypt, was originally an Ethiopian, but he had lately invaded Egypt, and taken the king of that country, prisoner, whom he

, reigned there in his stead. So soon became powerful, and Hoshea, king of Israel, notwithstanding the warn. ings of Isaiah, entered into a confederacy with him, hoping, by his assistance, to free himself from Assyrian bondage, and in consequence of this, he withdrew his subjection from Shalmanézar, and would pay him no more tribute ; and on this account it was, that the king of Assyria invaded Samaria. The people of Israel had so repeatedly rebelled against the Lord, and were become to incorrigibly wicked, that God deserted them, and they were left a prey to the Assyrians as they had been thiri atenen.

Had ?

Had the Israelites repented like the Ninevites, at the preaching of the prophet, there is no doubt but that they also would have been saved from destruction. The Lord would have restrained the fierce wrath of the Assyrian king, who was, though he knew it not, the rod of Divine anger*. But as neither kindness nor severity could reform this rebellious nation, they were justly exposed to the . consequences of their disobedience, and the Israelitish . kingdom was brought to an end, after it had stood divided from that of: Judah two hundred and fifty-four years. A great number of the Israelites escaped with their lives ; some into Egypt, but more into the kingdom of Judah, where they weaned themselves by degrees from their , idolatries, and became subjects to Hezekiah, and his suc

It is needless to mention the various conjectures of different authors respecting the countries to which the captive Jews were transported, as it is a point of no importance to us, and impossible to be exactly ascertained.

cessors.

SECTION XCVI.

THE CONTINUATION OF

THE REIGN OF

HEZEKIAH

KING OF JUDAH.

From 2 Kings, Chap. xviii.-2 Chron. Chap. xxxii.

And Hezekiah trusted in the LORD God of Israel ; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.

For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from fol. lowing him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses,

And the Lord was with him ; and he prospered

* Isaiah x.

T 6

whithersoever

« PreviousContinue »