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Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the livered a very great host into their hand, commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot because they had forsaken the LORD God of prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, their fathers. So they executed judgment he hath also forsaken you.
against Joash. 21 And they conspired against him, and 25 And when they were departed from stoned him with stones at the commandment him, (for they left him in great diseases, of the king in the court of the house of the his own servants conspired against him for LORD.
the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, 22 Thus Joash the king remembered not and slew him on his bed, and he died: and the kindness which Jehoiada his father had they buried him in the city of David, but done to him, but slew his son. And when
And when they buried him not in the sepulchres of the he died, he said, The Lord look upon it, kings. and require it.
26 And these are they that conspired 23 And it came to pass "at the end of against him ; 'Zabad the son of Shimeath the
year, that the host of Syria came up an Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of against him: and they came to Judah and "Shimrith a Moabitess. Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of 27 Now concerning his sons, and the the people from among the people, and sent greatness of the burdens lard upon him, and all the spoil of them unto the king of 'Da- the repairing of the house of God, behold
they are written in the story of the book of 24 For the army of the Syrians came with the kings. And Amaziah his son reigned a small company of men, and the LORD de- in his stead. 8 Heb. in the revolution of the year. Heb. Darmesek, 10 Or, Jozachar, 2 Kings 12. 21. 11 Or, Shomer. 12 Heb. founding.
18 Or, commentary.
Verse 25. “ The sepulchres of the kings.”—These sepulchres were doubtless excavations in the rock; and as such sepulchres are, in the ordinary course of things, imperishable, it is but reasonable to suppose that they may still be found in some of the numerous and remarkable sepulchral excavations which engage the attention of those who visit Jerusalem. The excavation, or rather series of excavations, which are now indicated to travellers as the tombs of the Hebrew kings, occur about a mile to the north-west of the present city. They have been noticed by most travellers ; but as none of their accounts are comparable to that left by Maundrell, we cannot do better than copy his description, adding a few further particulars from other sources.
“The next place we came to was those famous grots, called the sepulchres of the kings, but for what reason they go by that name is hard to resolve... Whoever was buried here, this is certain, that the place itself discovers so great expense both of labour and treasure, that we may well suppose it to have been the work of kings." The road down to the tombs is cut in the rock, and the entrance is by a large door also cut in the rock. It leads into a deep excavation, about fifty feet long, forty wide, and about twenty deep. (Richardson.) This open court is excavated in a stratum of white limestone (Clarke, who calls it “ a square of thirty yards.") Heaps of sand and earth have accumulated along the sides of this court; and the whole has much the appearance of a sand pit. (Richardson.). The west end seems to have been ornamented with the greatest care; and there appears the mouth of a cavern twelve yards wide, exhibiting over the entrance an architrave, with a beautifully sculptured frieze. (See the cut.) Entering this cavern, and turning to the left, a second architrave appears above the entrance to another cavern, but so near the foor of the cave as barely to admit the passage of a man's body through the aperture. (Clarke.) We shall return to Maundrell for the description of the interior. After likewise mentioning this difficulty of entering, he proceeds: “But within you arrive at a large fair room, about seven or eight yards square, cut out of the natural rock. Its sides and ceiling are so exactly square, and its angles so just, that no architect with levels and plummets could build a room more regular: and the whole is so firm and entire, that it may be called a chamber hollowed out of one piece of marble. From this room you pass into (I think) six more, one within another, all of the same fashion with the first. Of these the two innermost are deeper than the rest, having a second descent of about six or seven steps into them.
"In every one of these rooms, except the first, were coffins of stone placed in niches in the sides of the chambers. They had at first been covered with handsome lids and carved with garlands; but now most of them were broke in pieces by sacrilegious hands. The sides and ceiling of the rooms were always dropping with the moist damps condensing upon them: to remedy which nuisance, and to preserve these chambers of the dead polite and clean, there was in each room a small channel cut in the floor, which served to drain the drops that fall constantly into it.
“But the most surprising thing belonging to these subterraneous chambers was their doors; of which there is only one that remains hanging. It consisted of a plank of stone about six inches in thickness, and in its other dimensions equalling the size of an ordinary door, or somewhat less. It is carved in such a manner as to resemble a piece of wainscot. The stone of which it was made was visibly of the same kind with the whole rock; and it turned upon two hinges in the nature of axles. These hinges were of the same entire piece of stone with the door, and were contained in two holes of the immoveable rock, one at the top and the other at the bottom.” (“Journey,' p. 76—78, edit. 1707.)
We have pleasure in transcribing this interesting description, not only as explaining the immediate subject, but as contributing to elucidate many of the allusions which the Scriptures contain to the higher class of excavated sepulchres. To complete the account, we add a few further particulars from Clarke, Richardson, and Buckingham.
The first, or great chamber, which is nearly filled up with rubbish, has one door-way leading from it on the right but no corresponding one on the left, and two immediately opposite to the passage of entrance, making in all three doors which communicate with other chambers within. The famous stone doors are pannelled so as to resemble exactly our own doors of wood: the one door, which was hanging in Maundrell's time, is now fallen like the others. In each of the three inner chambers there are smaller divisions for the reception of the dead, with benches and sarcophagi, and niches of a triangular form (for lamps probably) above the tombs. (Buckingham.) The receptacles for the dead bodies are not much larger than our coffins, but have the more regular form of oblong parallelograms, thereby differing from the usual appearance presented in the sepulchral crypts of the country, where the soros, although of the same form, is of very considerable size, and resembles a large cistern. (Clarke.) The innermost chamber, to which there is a descent, seerns to have been the most honourable part of this great sepulchre. It is adorned above all the rest, and has the mantling vine, with clusters of grapes, twined round the pilasters, and inscribed on the sarcophagi. (Richardson.) The most interesting object it contains is the lid of a white marble coffin. “This,” says Clarke, “ was entirely covered with most beautiful sculpture ; but, like all the other sculptured work about the place, it represented nothing of the human figure, nor any animal, but consisted entirely of foliage and flowers, and principalīy of the leaves and branches of the vine."
We have been thus particular in describing these remarkable excavations, because certainly they are among the very few remains which we can safely say to have belonged to the times which the Scripture history embraces. It has been strongly questioned whether these be really the sepulchres of the kings, so often mentioned in the historical books, principally because these sepulchres are said to have been in the city of David,” which is commonly understood exclusively of Mount Zion. But it will be observed that there are no sepulchres in Mount Zion, and that those which we have been describing, although now at a considerable distance from the northern wall of the town, appear to have been comprehended within the ancient wall; as it is on all hands agreed that the city extended in this direction—the only direction in which it could extend-far beyond its present limits. And if it was within the wall, it must have been the sepulchre of the kings, because it is in Scripture mentioned as a distinction of royalty to be buried within the city. The Jewish writers concur, informing us that sepulchres were to be at some distance beyond the walls of a town; and that iu Jerusalem no sepulchres were allowed, except those of the house of David, and that of Huldah the prophetess (Lightfoot's . Chor. Cent.' ch. xxi). Here it will be observed that no mention is made of the city of David as distinguished from Jerusalem: and so also, Josephus, in mentioning these sepulchres, says they were in Jerusalem,” without distinguishing the city of David. The common restriction which limits the term “city of David” to Mount Zion, and which occasions so much perplexity in the present and other cases, does not seem to be required by Scripture. It certainly bears that restriction in some instances; but we have no right therefore to infer that it does so in all, since the same designation has often in Scripture a large and a restricted meaning. In the New Testament, Bethlehem is called “the city of David,” because he was born there; and that Jerusalem was sometimes in the large sense distinguished by a reference to David, we see by Isa. xxix. 1, where the prophet, after mentioning it under the name of "Ariel," precludes misapprehension by adding, the city where David dwelt." Upon the whole, we consider that Whatever difficulties may attend the question, it is far less difficult to admit that these excavations were the sepulchres of the kings than to assign them any other destination. As it may be objected to this conclusion, thnt the style and taste of the architecture exhibited at the entrance to these sepulchres would refer the excavations to a much later period of the Jewish history, we may observe, without admitting or disputing the correctness of this assertion, that the same reasoning cannot apply to such excavations as to constructed edifices. In the former, the façade is no essential or necessary part of the plan, and may therefore, in the present instance, have been sculptured at a comparatively late period, by some prince or ruler who wished to distiaguish and adorn the last earthly home of the ancient kings.
But what shall we do for the hundred ta
lents which I have given to the 'army of Is. 1 Amaziah beginneth to reign well. 3 He executeth justice on the traitors, 5 Having hired an army
rael? And the man of God answered, The of Israelites against the Edomites, at the word of Lord is able to give thee much more than a prophet he loseth the hundred talents, and dis- this. misseth them. 11 He overthroweth the Edomites.
10 Then Amaziah separated them, to 10,13 The Israelites, discontented with their dismission, spoil as they return home. 14 Amaziah,
army that was come to him out of proud of his victory, serveth the gods of Edom, Ephraim, to go home again : wherefore their and despiseth the admonitions of the prophet
. 11 anger was greatly kindled against Judah, He provoketh Joash to his overthrow. 25 His
and they returned home 'in great anger. reign. 27 He is slain by conspiracy.
11 And Amaziah strengthened himAmaziau 'was twenty and five years old self, and led forth his people, and went to when he began to reign, and he reigned the valley of salt, and smote of the children twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And of Seir ten thousand. his mother's name was Jehoaddan of Jeru- 12 And other ten thousand left alive did salem.
the children of Judah carry away captive, 2 And he did that which was right in the and brought them unto the top of the rock, sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect and cast them down from the top of the heart.
rock, that they all were broken in pieces. 3 | Now it came to pass, when the king- 13 | But 'the soldiers of the army which dom was 'established to him, that he slew Amaziah sent back, that they should not go his servants that had killed the king his fa- with him to battle, fell upon the cities of ther.
Judah, from Samaria even unto Beth-horon, 4 But he slew not their children, but did and smote three thousand of them, and took as it is written in the law in the book of much spoil. Moses, where the LORD commanded, saying, 14 Now it came to pass, after that The fathers shall not die for the children, Amaziah was come from the slaughter of neither shall the children die for the fathers, the Edomites, that he brought the gods of but every man shall die for his own sin. the children of Seir, and set them up to be
5 Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah his gods, and bowed down himself before together, and made them captains over thou- them, and burned incense unto them. sands, and captains over hundreds, accord- 15 Wherefore the anger of the Lord was ing to the houses of their fathers, through- kindled against Amaziah, and he sent unto out all Judah and Benjamin: and he num- him a prophet, which said unto him, Why bered them from twenty years old and above, hast thou sought after the gods of the people, and found them three hundred thousand which could not deliver their own people out choice men, able to go forth to war, that of thine hand ? could handle spear and shield.
16 And it came to pass, as he talked with 6 He hired also an hundred thousand him, that the king said unto him, Art thou mighty men of valour out of Israel for an made of the king's counsel ? forbear; why hundred talents of silver.
shouldest thou be smitten? Then the pro7 But there came a man of God to him, phet forbare, and said, I know that God saying, O king, let not the army of Israel hath determined to destroy thee, because go with thee; for the Lord is not with Is- thou hast done this, and hast not hearkened rael, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim. unto my counse!
8 But if thou wilt go, do it, be strong for 17 | Then 'Amaziah king of Judah took the battle: God shall make thee fall before advice, and sent to Joash, the son of Jehoathe enemy: for God hath power to help, and haz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, to cast down.
Come, let us see one another in the face. 9 And Amaziah said to the man of God, 18 And Joash king of Israel sent to Ama. 1 2 Kings 14. I, &c. Heb. confirmed upon him. 3 Deut. 34. 16. 2 Kings 14. 6. Jer 31. 30. Ezek. 18. 20. 5 Heb. to their place. 7 Heb. the sons of the bando
9 2 Kings 14. 9.
4 H65. band.
6 Heb. in heat of anger.
8 Heb. counselled
23 And Joash the king of Israel took 28 And they brought him upon horses
ziah king of Judah, saying, 'The "othistle that brought him to Jerusalem, and brake down was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of in Lebanon saying, Give thy daughter to Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred my son to wife: and there passed by 'a wild cubits. beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down 24 And he took all the gold and the sil the thistle.
ver, and all the vessels that were found in 19 Thou sayest, Lo, thou hast smitten the house of God with Obed-edom, and the the Edomites; and thine heart lifteth thee treasures of the king's house, the hostages up to boast: abide now at home; why should also, and returned to Samaria. est thou meddle to thine hurt, that thou 25 And Amaziah the son of Joash king shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with of Judah lived after the death of Joash son thee?
of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years. 20 But Amaziah would not hear; for it26 Now the rest of the acts of "Amaziah, came of God, that he might deliver them first and last, behold, are they not written into the hand of their enemies, because they in the book of the kings of Judah and Issought after the gods of Edom.
rael? 21 So Joash the king of Israel went up; 27 Now after the time that Amaziah and they saw one another in the face, both did turn away "*from following the LORD he and Amaziah king of Judah, at Beth- they made a conspiracy against him in shemesh, which belongeth to Judah.
Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but 22 And Judah was "put to the worse be- they sent to Lachish after him, and slew fore Israel, and they fled every man to his tent. him there. Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash, and buried him with his fathers in the city the son of Jehoahaz, at Beth-shemesh, and of Judah. 10r, furrebush, or, thorn.
of the field.
13 Heb. the gate of it that looketk. 14 Heb. from after. is Heb. conspired a conspiracy. 16 That is, the city of David, as it is 2 Kings 14. 20. Verse 12. “ Cast them down from the top of the rock.”—If we were correct in our considerations relating to Joktheel, as stated in the note to 2 Kings xiv., the situation of Petra, with which we supposed that town might be identified, very well illustrates the present transaction. The area or valley in which the town stands, is surrounded by steep mountains and rocky cliffs, from many of which most certainly no one could be precipitated without being broken all in pieces.” To the south of the town there is one very steep and high mountain, the ascent of which is assisted by steps ; and the summit of which affords a commanding view over the neighbouring masses of rock. Remains of a fortification of stone attest the importance which the ancient inhabitants attached to this post. If it were necessary to point to a particular place, one might perhaps venture to point to this mountain as possibly • the rock” in question. But we rather think this designation does not refer to any one particular rock; but, collectively, to any of the cliffs in this region of precipices adapted to such an execution. The name of "Selah,” which Amaziah took and called Joktheel, means, as well as that of Petra, “a rock”-as stated in the note referred to. The taking of any town is not mentioned bere expressly; and after all it is not clear that the rock spoken of in this place is the same as the town, which bore a Dame of the same import. If not, the rock may have been any remarkable rock near or in the Valley of Salt, where the battle was fought; but if otherwise, we are to suppose that the Hebrews took their captives to the vicinity of their own capital and there destroyed them, to intimidate the town into a surrender, or for some other purpose not explained. It might be indeed that this awful immolation took place after the town was taken ; and that the ten thousand destroyed, included not only the captives taken in the previous battle, but a proportion of those captured in the town.
14. " The gods of the children of Seir."— The English translator of Labordes · Voyage de l'Arabie Pétrée' has prefixed an interesting preliminary view of ancient Edom: but in his account of their religion he has overlooked this passage, and draws his statement entirely from the book of Job. Now, although it is very probable that the descendants of Rsau did for a considerable time retain such patriarchal ideas of religion as that book exhibits, it is very certain that
, when they became a flourishing people, their religion was an idolatry which the Lord beheld with abhorrence. We see here that Amaziah's participation in it, provoked the Divine anger against him, and produced a denunciation of those calamities which marked the subsequent history of that weak monarch. The Scripture does not describe the idolatry of the Edomites; but we may suppose it to have been the same with that of their neighbours, or but slightly diversified from it. The great object of idolatry was the sun, under various representations and with different forms of worship: Accordingly the ancient writers, when they have occasion to mention the Nabathæi (the Edomites mixed with Arabians), describe them as people who worshipped the sun, burning frankincense to him upon an altar. This agrees with all we can gather from the present text which describes the sin of Amaziah as this very act of worshipthe burning of incense before the gods of Edom.
11 Heb, a be
12 Heb. smilten.
leprosy. 22 He dieth, and Jotham succecdeth
him. 1 Uzzah succeeding, and reigning well in the days Then all the people of Judah took '’Uzinvadeth the priest's office, and is smitten with | ziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Ama- 14 And Uzziah prepared for them ziah.
1 2 Kings 14. 21; and 15. 1.
2 Or, Azariah.
throughout all the host shields, and spears, 2 He built Eloth, and restored it to Ju- and helmets, and habergeons, and bows, and dah, after that the king slept with his "slings to cast stones. fathers.
15°And he made in Jerusalem engines, 3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he invented by cunning men, to be on the began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two towers and upon the bulwarks, !o shoot years in Jerusalem.
His mother's name arrows and great stones withal. And his also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.
name spread far abroad; for he was mar4 And he did that which was right in the vellously helped, till he was strong: sight of the LORD, according to all that his 16 q But when he was strong, his heart father Amaziah did.
was lifted up to his destruction : for he trans5 And he sought God in the days of Ze-gressed against the Lord his God, and chariah, who had understanding in the went into the temple of the Lord to burn visions of God: and as long as he sought incense upon the altar of incense. the LORD, God made him to prosper.
17 And Azariah the priest went in after 6 And he went forth and warred against him, and with him fourscore priests of the the Philistines, and brake down the wall of LORD, that were valiant men: Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall 18 And they withstood Uzziah the king, of Ashdod, and built cities about Ashdod, and said unto him, It 's appertaineth not and among the Philistines.
unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the 7 And God helped him against the Phi- Lord, but to the "priests the sons of Aaron, listines, and against the Arabians that dwelt that are consecrated to burn incense: go in Gur-baal, and the Mehunims.
out of the sanctuary; for thou hast tres8 And the Ammonites gave gifts to Uz- passed; neither shall it be for thine honour ziah: and his name 'spread abroad even to from the Lord God. the entering in of Egypt; for he strength- 19 Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a ened himself exceedingly.
censer in his hand to burn incense : and 9 Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jeru- while he was wroth with the priests, the salem at the corner gate, and at the valley leprosy even rose up in his forehead before gate, and at the turning of the wall, and the priests in the house of the LORD, from fortified them.
beside the incense altar. 10 Also he built towers in the desert, and 20 And Azariah the chief priest, and all "digged many wells: for he had much cattle, the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, both in the low country, and in the plains : he was leprous in his forehead, and they husbandmen also, and vine dressers in the thrust him out from thence; yea, himself mountains, and in "Carmel : for he loved "hasted also to go out, because the LORD Chusbandry.
had smitten him. 11 Moreover Uzziah had an host of fight- 21 6 And Uzziah the king was a leper ing men, that went out to war by bands, unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a according to the number of their account by 17 18several house, being a leper; for he was the hand of Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jothe ruler, under the hand of Hananiah, one tham his son was over the king's house. of the king's captains.
judging the people of the land. 12 The whole number of the chief of the 22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, fathers of the mighty men of valour were first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the two thousand and six hundred.
son of Amoz, write. 13 And under their hand was
23 So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and three nundred thousand and seven thou- they buried him with his fathers in the field sand and five hundred, that made war with of the burial which belonged to the kings; mighty power, to help the king against the for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham enemy.
his son reigned in his stead. 3 Heb. in the seeing of God.
7 Or, cut out many cisteras 10 Heb. the power of
8 Or, fruitful fields.
13 Num, 18.7.
4 Or, in the country of Ashdod. 9 Heb.ground.
14 Exou, 30.7. 13 As Esth, 6. 12.
5 Heb. went. 8 Or, repaired. an ariny.
11 Heb. stones of slings. 16 2 Kings 15.5. 17 Levit. 13. 46.
19 Heb. went forth. 18 Heb.free.
Verse 10. “ Towers in the desert.”—These were probably such towers as are mentioned in the note to 1 Chron. xvii. 7. They seemed to have served various purposes--to shelter the flocks in time of danger-as watch-towers for the shep