Page images
PDF
EPUB

king's seer, and Nathan the prophet; for so was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets.

And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.

And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt-offering upon the altar. And when the burnt-offering, began, the song

of the Lord began also with the trumpets, and with the instruments ordained by David king of Israel.

And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt-offering was finished. So the service of the house was set in order.

And when they had made an end of offering, the king and all that were present with him bowed themselves and worshipped.

And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people; for the thing was done suddenly.

So there was great joy in Jerusalem; for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem,

Then the priests the Levites arose, and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling-place, even unto heaven.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.

The good Hezekiah had been an associate with his father in the last year of his reign, and, without doubt, had beheld with great concern the neglect of God's worship, but he could not begin the reformation of the kingdom during the life of Ahaz.

Hezekiah was very sensible that the miseries which had fallen on the land of Judah were a just punishment

for

for their wickedness, and the consequence of their breach of the COVENANT, which the Lord had on his part so punctually performed : and he was very solicitous to renew the covenant, knowing that the Lord had promised he would turn to his people whenever they should seek him with a perfect heart, and forsake the sins which had rendered them abominable in his sight. The speech which the good king made to the priests and Levites needs no explanation, and it had the intended effect.

We find that the people of Israel had even made the brazen serpent, which Moses set up in the wilderness, an object of adoration ; Hezekiah therefore thought it necessary to destroy it.

The good king * next resolved to keep the passover, and, willing to extend his benevolence to the whole race of Jacob, he sent to all the tribes, to give them notice of his intention; and though the land of Israel was in general immersed in idolatry, there were still some who gladly obeyed the summons, and assisted at the solemnity.

That the feast of unleavened bread might be enjoyed by the poor as well as by the rich, Hezekiah himself made ample provision for it by his liberality, and every heart rejoiced in the hopes of God's returning favour; their repentance found a gracious reception at the throne of mercy, and the BLESSING of the Lord was again restored to his people.

These religious exercises had a proper effect on the minds of the Israelites, and they proceeded to destroy all the monuments of idolatry that remained. Hezekiah took care to renew the service of the Temple ac. cording to the original institution of it, and to provide

See Chron. ch. XXX.

for

for the maintenance of the priests and Levites. Judah was once more in an honourable and prosperous condition, and had every encourageinent to be faithful to the LORD.

SECTION XCIV.

PART OF THE PROPHECY OF ISAIAI.

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 yourshame, 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 Alesh, 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 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 One of Israel to cease from before us.

Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression 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, so 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 shall ye be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would

not.

But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses: therefore shall ye flee: and we will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue 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,

Isaac, and Jacob, might with confidence seek Divine aid, if they would repent and return unto 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 partiçularly enumerated.

SECTION XCV.

THE CONCLUSION OF THE REIGN OF HOSEA KENG

OF ISRAEL.

From 2 Kings, Chap. xvii. And Hoshea still reigned over Israel: against him came up Shalmanezar king of Assyria, and Hoshea became his servant, and gave

him 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 Irim 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 Halal and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the city of the Medes ;

Because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord their 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. I 5

Yet

« PreviousContinue »