« PreviousContinue »
Prince noticed it, and Hofhea was alarmed, he fwore Fealty, promifed inftantly to make up his payments; but the King detected Hofhea in fome fecret confpiracy against him, and found he had fent Meflengers and prefents to Egypt, though he had omitted the payment even of his juft dues and tribute to Affyria, fuch as he had before done year by year. Shalmaneser soon broke all his meafures plots and defigns, at the head of a formidable Army he entered Samaria, levelled and ravaged Cities and Country, laying wafte all the lands of Ifrael. Shalmanefer marched his Troops up to the Gates of the Capital, and fat down before it, encamping a numerous Army all round its Walls and formed a total brockade.
Hofhca had made all the Preparations in his power, he had ftrongly fortified Samaria, brought into it large ftores of Ammunition and Provifion, and the City held out almoft three years against fo powerful and enterprizing a Rival; at laft Samaria was compelled to furrender; King and Subjects were made Prifoners, and they were all carried away Captive into Affyria, in the ninth year of the reign of Hofhea.
The fad hiftory and diftrefs of King and People is defcribed in the molt pathetic language of mifery and diffraction, horrid indeed were the cruelties practifed by the Conquerors over the Perfons, Families, young Princes, Children, Infants
fants yet unborn as well as born, thus prematurely butchered with their parents. The City of Samaria, its Palaces, and ftately buildings, became a heap of rubbish, the Country was laid wafte, and the Affyrians returned home laden with all the fpoil of Ifrael.
Of the Country into which they were carried captive, no tract can be feen, no very probable conjecture ever formed.
This is the fad, and fatal end of the Ifraelitish Empire, after it had been feparated from that of Judah, and stood a divided Kingdom, two hundred and fifty-four years.
Of the Ifraelites who were happy enough, by flight or concealment to escape butchery or captivity, fome arrived in Egypt, and fome forfaking their rebellious principles and idolatry became fubjects to good King Hezekiah and his fucceffors, inhabitants of Judah. All the reft were carried away to people uninhabited territories, widely diftant from the land of Canaan, and placed on the defolate frontiers of Halah, and in Habor by the River Gozan, and fome in the mountainous and dreary parts of Medea, perfecuted, enflaved, and condemned to end their days in mifery, forrow, and bondage.
The Affyrian Conqueror afterwards peopled the Cities of Ifrael with the inhabitants of Cuthah, and Ava, Hamath and Sepharvaim, Nations he had Dddd 2
brought under his yoke, and these People uniting together foon revolted and elected a King of their
A ftrange medley of religion now took place and lafted about three hundred years, at which time the celebrated Temple was built on Mount Gerizim, and this union of Nations and People henceforward took upon them the name of SAMARITANS.
ON THE BOOKS
A SHORT RECAPITULATION
HE firft book concludes the life of David, gives his wife directions and charge to his Son Solomon, perfuafive exhortations to piety and right conduct, and the King's laft advice respecting two State Prisoners, Joab and Shimei.
By the exprefs command of David, Solomon is anointed, and publickly proclaimed King of
Ifrael by Zadoc, the High-Prieft, and Nathan the Prophet, and the eleven firft. Chapters of the first book, record his profperous, most alonishingly glorious, peaceful, and happy reign.
After the death of Solomon, Rehoboam, his Son, at the age of forty, inftantly fet out for Sechem, a City in the tribe of Ephraim, almost the centre of the Kingdom, with the Princes, his Heads and Elders, his Nobles and all his Court, there to receive the honours of his Coronation. A vaft body of his People here affembled, and as they thought themselves oppreffed and overburthened with very heavy taxes, before they paid him homage, and admitted his proclamation by found of trumpet, they humbly offered him up a petition for a redress of their grievances.
Rehoboam, upon this, fummoned a Council from among the Elders, the Privy Counsellors of his Father, they gave their opinion unanimoufly for its being granted, affuring the Prince he would thereby gain and fecure the affections and loyalty of his People for ever. Rehoboam next formed a Council, from among the young men, who were grown up with him, and they well knowing the vanity and pride of the Prince, flattered his paffions by yielding to his wifhes, and unwifely advised him to return a most haughty and infulting anfwer to the petition of his People,