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his provocation wherewith he provoked the 33 In the third year of Asa king of JuLORD God of Israel to anger.
dah began Baasha the son of Ahijah to reign 31 | Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, over all Israel in Tirzah, twenty and four and all that he did, are they not written years. in the book of the chronicles of the kings of 34 And he did evil in the sight of the Israel ?
LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, 32 And there was war between Asa and and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to Baasha king of Israel all their days.
Chap. xv.–From hence to the end of the second book of Kings, we have a history of the affairs of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah ; while, in the second book of Chronicles, from the tenth chapter to the end, the parallel history refers almost exclusively to the affairs of the latter kingdom, the particulars of which are there given more in detail than in the books of Kings. Under these circumstances, it will be found a very convenient arrangement to confine our present attention chiefly to the history of the northern kingdom, which will not again come so fully under our consideration; reserving much that relates to Judah in particulas for the second book of Chronicles. It will therefore be understood by the reader, that, under the parallel texts of that book he will find whatever observations, on the affairs of the kingdom of Judah, may seem to be included within our range of illustration. We do not, however, altogether preclude ourselves from noticing occasionally, even in the books of Kings, whatever, connected with the southern kingdom, it may not seem desirable to postpone to the Chronicles.
17. “ Ramah.”—The name means an eminence; and there are several places distinguished by it, which have been strangely confounded by travellers. The present is evidently the Ramah in the tribe of Benjamin, on the borders of Ephraim, which Jerome places six miles to the north of Jerusalem. It still exists as a village, under its ancient nane. It is pleasantly situated on an eminence, the sides of which are covered with olive-trees and sycamores. Some traces of old buildings still existed when Ranwolff' was there. The Jews believe that this is the Ramah where Samuel was born, lived, and was buried; and Calmet concurs in this opinion, which has several circumstances in its favour. The old traveller, John Sanderson, says, “ The second day of July we went to Rama, to the prophet Samuel his house, where the Jewes say he was buried; upon the top of the said house is the place where the children of Israel had their haire cut off, at which time they made vowes, and gave great sums to the sanctorum, At this day, there are of the Jewes that vow and performe, carrying their children to have their haire cut off there, for devotion : on the right hand is a well, which is called Samuel's well. Other matters I observed not.” The present inha itauts are chiefly Christians of the Greek persuasion.
18. “ Damascus."—We give a view of this city, the description of which has already been supplied under Gen. xiv. 15.
20. “ Ijon," &c.—All the places here named were in the north of Israel, nearest to Syria. They have all been men tioned already, except Ijon, the precise situation of which cannot be determined.
27. “ Gibbet hon.”—This belonged to the tribe of Dan, and was given by that tribe to the Levites (Josh. xix. 44; xxi. 23). The Levites seem to have been dispossessed of the towns they held in the ten tribes, which may have afforded the Philistines an opportunity of getting Gibbethon into their own hands. That it was within the limits of Dan is all we can know with certainty, except that the text sufficiently indicates the town to have been one of considerable strength and importance.
and will make thy house like 'the house of CHAPTER XVI.
Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 1,7 Jehu's, prophecy against Baasha. 5 Elah suc- 4 'Him that dieth of Baasha in the city
ceedeth him. 8 Zimri conspiring against Elah shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth of succeedeth him. 11 Zimri executeth Jehu's prophecy: 15 Omri
, made king by the soldiers, forceth his in the fields shall the fowls of the air Zimri desperately to burn himself. 21 The king. eat. dom being divided, Omri prevaileth against Tibni. 5 Now the rest of the acts of Baasha, and 23 Omri buildeth Samaria. 25 His uicked reign, what he did, and his might, are they not 27 Ahab succeedeth him. 29 Ahab's most wicked written in the book of the chronicles of the reign. 34 Joshua's curse upon Hiel the builder of Jericho.
kings of Israel?
6 So Baasha slept with his fathers, and Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu was buried in Tirzah: and Elah his son the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, reigned in his stead.
2 Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the 7 And also by the hand of the prophet dust, and made thee prince over my people Jehu the son of Hanani came the word of Israel; and thou hast walked in the way of the LORD against Baasha, and against his Jeroboam, and hast made my people Israel house, even for all the evil that he did in to sin, to provoke me to anger with their the sight of the LORD, in provoking him to
anger with the work of his hands, in being 3 Behold, I will take away the posterity like the house of Jeroboam; and because he of Baasha, and the posterity of his house ; | killed him.
1 Chap. 15, 99.
*Chap 14 11.
8 In the twenty and sixth year of Asa written in the book of the chronicles of the king of Judah began Elah the son of kings of Israel? Baasha to reign over Israel in Tirzah, two 21 | Then were the people of Israel di
vided into two parts: half of the people 9 And his servant Zimri, captain of half followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make his chariots, conspired against him, as he him king; and half followed Omri. was in Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in 22 But the people that followed. Omri the house of Arza 'steward of his house in prevailed against the people that followed Tirzah.
Tibni the son of Ginath: so Tibni died, and 10 And Zimri went in and smote him, and Omri reigned. killed him, in the twenty and seventh year 23 | In the thirty and first year of Asa of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his king of Judah began Omri to reign over stead.
Israel, twelve years : six years reigned he Il f And it came to pass, when he be- in Tirzah. gan to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, 24 And he bought the hill Samaria of that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left Shemer for two talents of silver, and built him not one that pisseth against a wall, on the hill, and called the name of the city *neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends. which he built, after the name of Shemer, 12 Thus did Zimri destroy all the house owner of the hill, "Samaria. of Baasha, according to the word of the LORD, 25 | But Omri wrought evil in the eyes which he spake against Baasha by Jehu the of the Lord, and did worse than all that prophet.
were before him. 13 For all the sins of Baasha, and the 26 For he walked in all the way of Jerosins of Elah his son, by which they sinned, boam the son of Nebat, and in his sin where. and by which they made Israel to sin, in with he made Israel to sin, to provoke the proroking the LORD God of Israel to anger Lord God of Israel to anger with their vawith their vanities.
nities. 14 Now the rest of the acts of Elah, and 27 Now the rest of the acts of Omri which all that he did, are they not written in the he did, and his might that he shewed, are book of the chronicles of the kings of Is- they not written in the book of the chronirael?
cles of the kings of Israel? 15 ļ In the twenty and seventh year of 28 So Omri slept with his fathers, and Asa king of Judah did Zimri reign seven was buried in Samaria : and Ahab his son days in Tirzah. And the people were en- reigned in his stcad. camped against Gibbethon, which belonged 29 4 And in the thirty and eighth year to the Philistines.
of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son 16 And the people that were encamped of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the heard say, Zimri hath conspired, and hath son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria also slain the king: wherefore all Israel twenty and two years. made Omri, the captain of the host, king
30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil over Israel that day in the camp,
in the sight of the LORD above all that were 17 And Omri went up from Gibbethon, before him. and all Israel with him, and they besieged 31 And it came to pass, 'as if it had been
a light thing for him to walk in the sins of 18 And it came to pass, when Zimri saw Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to that the city was taken, that he went into wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king the palace of the king's house, and burnt of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, the king's house over him with fire, and and worshipped him.
32 And he reared up an altar for Baal in 11. For his sins which he sinned in doing the house of Baal, which he had built in evil in the sight of the Lord, in walking in Samaria. the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which 33 And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab he did, to make Israel to sin.
did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel 20 Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and to anger than all the kings of Israel that his treason that he wrought, are they not
were before him.
5 Heb. by the hand of.
7 Heb. uus it a light thing, &c.
* Heb. which was over.
* Or, loth his kinsmen and his friends.
6 Heb. Shomeron.
34 In his days did Hiel the Bethelite, thereof in his youngest son Segub, accordin build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof to the word of the LORD, which lie spake b in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates | Joshua the son of Nun.
8 Josh. 6. 26.
Verse 9. “ Tirzah.”—See the note on Josh. xii. 24 ; where we mentioned the difficulty of determining its site. Th current maps generally follow D'Anville, who seems to have adopted the statement of Brocard, a monk of Strasburg who travelled in the latter part of the 13th century. He places it upon a mountain three leagues to the east Samaria.
24. “ Samaria.”—The destruction of the palace at Tirzah (verse 18) probably assisted Omri's decision to found new capital. The two talents of silver which Omri paid for the hill is equal to 6841. Some travellers and topogra phers confound Samaria with Shechem or Nablous; but it is now generally identified with a site about eight miles t the north of that city, and about forty-five miles to the north of Jerusalem. It remained the capital of the norther kingdom, while that kingdom endured, and perished with it; for when taken, after a three years' siege, by Shalmaneze king of Assyria (719 B.c.), he razed it to the ground, leaving it a mere heap of rubbish (Micah i. 6). The foreigner whom that prince settled in the desolated country, and who took the name of Samaritans, seem to have made Shechen their chief seat, as it was ever after. But they appear also to have gradually rebuilt part of this town, as we find it occu pied by them after the southern Jews had returned from thrir captivity (Ezra iv, 17 ; Nehem. iv. 2). Still later, it seem to have been more fully rebuilt and occupied by the Samaritans; for when they revolted from Alexander the Great, fron jealousy at the favour he had shown to the Jews, that conqueror came from Egypt, and having taken the city, be stowed it upon his Macedonian followers. After this, it was sometimes in the hands of the kings who succeeded Alex ander in Syria, and at others was held by his successors in Egypt, until the Jews acquired full possession of the country under John Hyrcanus, who took the city, after a year's siege, and razed it to the very ground. It was afterward rebuilt by Gabinius, the Roman president of Syria, who called it after his own name ; but it was still a comparatively inconsiderable place until it was restored to its ancient splendour by Herod the Great (B.c. 21), who changed its nam to the Greek one of Sebaste, which in Latin is Augusta, in honour of Augustus. As thus restored, it existed in th time of our Saviour, and it continued a place of importance until the Jews were expelled from their country by Adrian after which it went gradually to decay. Such ruins as have since been mentioned, or now exist, of course belong to the city which existed in the time of our Saviour, when, according to Josephus, it was twenty furlongs in circumference.
The situation of Samaria is well described by Dr. Richardson. He says:-"The situation is extremely beautiful and strong by nature; more so, I think, than Jerusalem. It stands on a fine large insulated hill, compassed all roun by a broad deep valley, and when fortified as it is stated to have been by Herod, one would have imagined that, in the ancient system of warfare, nothing but famine could have reduced such a place. The valley is surrounded by fou hills, one on each side, which are cultivated in terraces up to the top, sown with grain, and planted with fig and olivo trees, as is also the valley. The hill of Samaria likewise rises in terraces to a height equal to any of the adjoining mountains.' This description answers exactly to that given 550 years ago by Brocard ( Descriptio Terræ Sanctæ in whose time much more of the ancient city remained than at present. He notices the innumerable marble columns still standing, belonging to the royal buildings, palaces and colonnades of this once magnificent city. But there were only a few inhabited houses, together with a church dedicated to John the Baptist, which the Saracens had turned into a mosque. Maundrell could find no other traces of the ancient city than a large square piazza encompassed with pillars. Later travellers describe this in such a manner as to convey the impression, that in the 130 intervening years the fall of many of the pillars has caused such alteration, that its character as a square piazza is no longer distinguish able. But, as such, it may well answer to the description by Josephus, of a sacred enclosure of about a furlong and a half, built nearly in the middle of the city, by Herod, who adorned it with all kinds of ornamen's, and erected therei a temple, remarkable for its largeness and beauty. Buckingham says that the pillars in this part are now eighty-three in number, standing, and many others fallen. They are all without capitals; but Richardson (who counted but sixty pillars) says there are numerous fragments of lonic volutes to testify the order to which they belonged. This statelj colonnade doubtless formed a part of some of Herod's magnificent buildings, if not, as seems most probable, a portion the sacred enclosure. It is locally considered to have belonged to Herod's palace. None of the walls of this building remain: but there are several detached pieces of walls standing on the edge of rocky prominences, that seem to be fragments of the ancient fortifications. There are also a number of columns still standing on the first terrace. Ri chardson says: “I counted twelve in a row, besides several that stood apart, the brotherless remains of other rows." 0. the eastern side of the hill, near the summit, are the remains of another building, where eight large and eight smal columns are still standing, with many others fallen near them. They are all smaller and of inferior stone to those o the great colonnade (Buckingham). - The great church mentioned by Brocard is still existing as a conspicuous ruin, It is said to have been built by the empress Helena. It had become a ruin even in Maundrell's time, and the Turks had erected a small mosque within its walls, over the venerated dungeon in which John the Baptist is supposed to have been imprisoned and beheaded. This ruined church and the interior mosque are fully described by Mr. Buckingham.
The modern representative of Samaria is a poor village of about thirty dwellings of the most humble descript:on : and is governed by its own sheikh, who is himself a husbandman. In the walls of these dwellings, however, portious of sculptured blocks of stone are perceived, and even fragments of granite pillars have been worked into the maso. ry while other vestiges of former edifices are seen occasionally scattered widely about. The most complete account of this site which we possess, is that given by Mr. Buckingham.
31. “ Baal.”—This word (bya) is not, so to speak, the proper name of a god, but a general title of honour (answering to master, lord, or husband) applied to many different gods. Thus we have “ Baaim,” in the plural, for false gods collectively, and in some cases the title " Baal” is applied to Jehovah himself (Hos. ii. 16). As the sun was the great and prominent object of ancient idolatry, we must understand that he is most usually intended by Baal,"partieularly when the name is mentioned with that of the moon and the host of heaven. In other cases various local idols are intended, which may in most instances be resolved into different symbolizations or impersonations of the sun. In the instance of the Baal now before us, a great weight of testimony enables us to determine, with almost absolute certainty, that he was the Phænician Melkart, called by the Greeks and Romans, the Hercules of Tyre. It will be observed that Jezebel, who introduced and so jealously supported this worship, was the daughter of a Phænician king-Eth-baul
, the king of Zidon, which proves it to have been the Baal, or great god, of that people. It was therefore also the same Baal whose worship was at a later period introduced by Athaliah, the daughter of this same Jezebel, into the kingdut
dah. This single fact is so conclusive as to the identity of this Baal with that of Phænicia. that we shall not - 1 on others which might be adduced from similarity of worship, and other circumstances. It will be observed, that
Jezebel and her father Eth-baul have the name of the idol incorporated with their own. :ww, the Phænician Baal was Melkart, whom the Greeks, according to their usual custom of identifying the gods her nations with their own, confounded with Hercules, and distinguished as the Hercules of Tyre. In reality, ger, he was a very different idol to their own deified hero of that name, and would appear to have been an incarin of the sun. It was allowed even by the Greeks, that of all the gods and demi-gods who bore this name, he of nicia was the most ancient of all. Those who wish to understand his reputed place in the genealogy of the Phea gods, may find it in the fragment of Sanchoniathon preserved by Eusebius, and it would be unintelligible sepay from the context. It may suffice to state that, from the earliest foundation of Tyre, Melkart appears to have been utelar god of that city; and that his worship extended with the extension of that state, until it was prevalent in he towns of the Phænician confederation, and was established in the most distant colonies of that most enterg people. At Gades (Cadiz) the everlasting light was kept burning in his temple ; and the Carthaginians, who sed his worship, for a long time sent to Tyre for his service a tenth part of their income. He almost became the ersal god of the Phænician people, at home and in all their dispersions; and some faint traces of his worship still st among the people of Malta. je name which he bears (Melkart, Melkrat, or Melchrat,) is usually understood to mean “the king of the city," Tyre; although Selden thinks it means "the strong king.” We are however convinced in our own minds, that ane is equivalent to the Hebrew y78 gba, melek-eretz (the vowels not being essential), “ king of the earth,” h would naturally be applied to him as an impersonation of the sun. ader the name of the Tyrian Hercules this idol was very famous. When Herodotus was in Egypt, he learned that ulus was there regarded as one of the primeval gods of that country; and being anxious to obtain some more cit information on the subject, he undertook a voyage to Tyre, for the express purpose of seeking such information e famous temple there dedicated to his worship. What he learned confirmed his impression as to the high anty of this god; for the priests informed him that the foundation of the temple was coeval with that of the city, h, they said, was founded 2300 years before that time. His attention was attracted by the various rich offerings le temple, particularly by one pillar all of gold, and another of emerald, which by night shone with amazing dour. Some particulars furnished by him and other writers, are interesting, as showing some such analogies to ites in the worship of the true God. as may have the more readily induced the Israelites to fall into the idolatry eir neighbours. No human sacrifices were offered to him: nor does the Bible any where lay this charge to the nip of Baal-no swine were sacrificed to him; though this was a common enough sacrifice to many other idols i fire was always burning on his altar-the priests officiated barefoot—and kissing was among the acts of worship,
h is in fact expressly mentioned in chap. xix. 18. any representations of the Tyrian Hercules are extant on coins. We give two, which will serve as fair average mens: they are both in the British Museum, and are represented of twice the real size. The first, which des the most attention as being the most ancient, and in the style which the coins of Western Asia exhibit before oved by Greek and Roman taste, is of copper. It was found in the island of Cossyra (now Pantellaria), which Aged to the Tyrians. The other is a Tyrian coin of silver (weighing 2144 grains), and exhibiting a very striking of the same idol, in a more modern and perfect style of art. One of the figures in the date is unfortunately erated ; but the curator of the coins in the British Museum thinks that the complete date may have given 84 s.c. s of this description are sometimes as old as 122 B.c. For more information concerning Meskart, see the Mygies' of Banpier and Creuzer; Jahn's Archæologia Biblica ;' and Heeren's • Phænicians, with the several authocited by them.
4.1.- Melkart, or the Tyrian Hercules (the Phænician Baal). Prom a Copper Coia of Cossyra in the British Museum. (Twice the size
of the original.) g. 2.-Head of do. From a Silver Coin of Tyre in the British Museum. (Twice the size of the original)
* * Jericho.”—See the notes on Josh. v. 9, 10. All travellers previous to Mr. Buckingham have acquiesced in the at statement, that, as we stated in the first of the notes now cited, the site of the ancient Jericho is marked by the village of Rihhah, between three and four miles from the Jordan, where, however, it was admitted that no trace of cient city could be found. But that traveller has questioned this conclusion on such strong grounds, that his corin has, and we think with great propriety, been introduced into most recent maps of the Holy Land. As Mr. ingham has the sole merit of this discovery, and we decidedly acquiesce in his conclusions, there is nothing for us
to do but to follow his account. We have already, in the second of the above-cited notes, described the plain of Jericho. It is only necessary therefore to observe, that travellers from Jerusalem to Jericho must, after descending the hills which bound the plain on the west, proceed for about four miles towards the Jordan before they reach Rihhah. But Mr. Buckingham had scarcely quitted the foot of these hills to go eastward over the plain, before he came upon the ruins of a large settlement, of which sufficient remained to prove it to have been a place of consequence, although no one perfect building existed. Some of the more striking objects among the ruins were several large tumuli, evidently the work of art, and resembling in size and shape those of the Greek and Trojan heroes on the plain of Ilium. Near to this was also a large square area, enclosed by long and regular mounds, uniform in their height, breadth, and angle of slope, and seeming to mark the place of enclosing walls now worn into mounds. Besides these, the foundations of other walls in detached pieces, portions of ruins of an undefinable character, shafts of columns, and a capital of the Corinthian order, were seen scattered about over the widely-extended heaps of this ruined city. These ruins did not seem, taken in their greatest extent, to cover less than a square mile; but the remains were not sufficiently marked to enable Mr. Buckingham to form a plan of them. The order of the columns is indicated by the Corinthian capital. which also shows that the building belonged probably to the time when the country was dependent on Rome; and we hazard a conjecture, that they may have belonged to the palace which Herod built at Jericho; and the knowledge that a palace was built at so comparatively late a period, strengthens whatever conclusion may be formed in preference of this site to that of Rihhah, where no ancient reinains whatever are found.
But, besides this, the situation of these remains agrees much better than the site of Rihhah with the position which Josephus assigns to Jericho. He says: “It is situate in a plain; but a naked and barren mountain, of very great length, hangs over it. This mountain extends to the land about Scythopolis northward, and southward as far as the country of Sodom and the utmost limits of the lake Asphaltites. It is all of it very uneven, and uninhabited by reason of its barrenness.” (“De Bello Jud.' l. iv. c. 8, sec. 2.) And in anuther place, he says that Jericho is one hundred and fifty furlongs from Jerusalem, and sixty from the Jordan, adding, “The country as far as Jerusalem is desert and stony; but that as far as the lake Asphaltites lies low, though it be equally desert and barrea.” It is clear that all this applies very exactly to Mr. Buckingham's Jericho, but not to Rihhah. He observes himself: “Nothing can more accurately apply in all its particulars than this description does to the site of the present ruins, assumed here as those of the ancient Jericho, whether it be in its local position, its boundaries, or its distance from Jerusalem on the one hand, or from the Jordan on the other. The spot lies at the very foot of the barren hills of Judæa, which may be said literally to overhang it on the west ; and these mountains are still as barren, as rugged, and as destitute of inhabitants as formerly, throughout their whole range, from the lake of Tiberias to the Dead Sea. The distance, by the computation of our journey in time, amounted to about six hours, or nearly twenty miles; and we were now, according to the report of our guides, at the distance of two hours, or about six miles, from the banks of the Jordan.”
Concerning Rihhah, which has so long borne the honour of being the representative of Jericho, we have only to observe that it appears to have obtained this distinction through some supposed resemblance between its name and that of Rahab the harlot. But were this analogy still clearer, it would prove nothing, since Jericho was never called after that celebrated woman. It is a poor village, containing about fifty dwellings, every one of which is fenced in front with thorny bushes, while a barrier of the same kind encircles the whole of the village. A fine brook flowing by the village, and emptying itself into the Jordan, supplies the inhabitants with water for the irrigation of the grounds, and for the domestic wants of the inhabitants. The only alleged antiquities shown here are a modern square tower of Mohammedan workmanship, said to be the house of Zaccheus, and an old tree, stated to be that into which the same person climbed to see Christ pass by; but, unfortunately for the story, this tree is not a sycamore, which the Evangelist mentions in the narrative of that interesting transaction.
flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in 1 Elijah, having prophesied against Ahab, is sent the evening; and he drank of the brook.
to Cherith, where the ruvens feed him. 8 He is 7 And it came to pass 'after a while, that sent to the widow of Zarephath. 17 He raiseth
the brook dried up, because there had been the widow's son. 24 The woman believeth him.
no rain in the land. AND 'Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the 8 ( And the word of the LORD came unto inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, 'As him, saying, the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom 9 Arise, get thee to "Zarephath, which I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there : behold, these years, but according to my word. I have commanded a widow woman there to
2 And the word of the Lord came unto sustain thee. him, saying,
10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. 3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, And when he came to the gate of the city, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that behold, the widow woman was there gatheris before Jordan.
ing of sticks : and he called to her, and said, 4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a of the brook; and I have commanded the vessel, that I may drink. ravens to feed thee there.
11 And as she was going to fetch it, he 5 So he went and did according unto the called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 12 And she said, As the LORD thy God
6 And the ravens brought him bread and liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of
* Ecclus. 48.3. James 5. 17.
* Heb. Elijahu. Luke 4. 25, he is called Elias.
3 Heb. at the end of days.
* Luke 4. 36, called Sarepta.