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A. M. 2001. A. C. 1003; Or, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4421. A. C. 990. 1 KINGS viii. TO THE END OF 2 CHRON. of making an alteration in the established religion of the days of old, and whose reputed sacredness, as well his country, he thought it the wisest method to do it upon as proximity, might commute for the want of a temple. the Egyptian model, that thereby he might endear him- Gezer, we own, lay at a considerable distance from self to that nation; and in case he met with opposition Egypt, which, since the time of Sesostris, had seldom from his rival Rehoboam, might hope for assistance from extended its conquests into foreign lands; and therefore, that quarter. For as the Egyptians had two oxen which to account for its conduct here, we must observe, that they worshipped, one called Apis, at Memphis, the me- Gezer was so ancient a town in Canaan, that when tropolis of the Upper Egypt; and another called Mnevis, Joshua · conquered it, it had a king of no small note ; that at Hierapolis, a principal city of the Lower; so he made in the division of the land, it fell to the tribe of Ephtwo calves of gold, and placed one of them in Bethel raim, was bordering upon the northern part of the which was in the south, and the other in Dan, which was country of the Philistines, and not far from the Mediterin the north part of the country of Israel.
ranean sea ; that it was one of the eight and forty cities There were these farther reasons likewise that might which, together with their suburbs, were given to the determine him in the choice of these two places. Dan Levites ; an inland town, but at no great distance from was a town famous for the Teraphim of Micah, unto the sea-port of Joppa ; that when the Ephraimites took which there had been a great resort for many ages; and possession of it, ' they suffered the Canaanites to cohaBethel was, in every one's opinion, a holy place, that bit with them, who gave them no small disturbance, and which Jacob had consecrated after he had been vouch- towards the latter end of David's reign, expelled them safed the vision of the ladder, and where God had so thence ; that when Solomon came to the throne, he frequently appeared to him, that he thought he had rea- applied himself chiefly to the building of the temple, nor son to call it ? the gate of heaven.'
thought it worth while to disturb the peace of his reign Jeroboam, no question, was not insensible of the for the recovery of a few revolted cities ; that when a advantage his rival enjoyed, in having the temple in his match was proposed between Solomon and Pharaoh's possession ; and might many times wish that he had been daughter, Pharaoh thought he could not do a more able to have built one that might have stood in competi- acceptable service, or show the benefit of his alliance tion with it; but this was impossible. Seven years and better, than in taking Gezer, and some adjacent places ; a half bad Solomon been in completing the temple at that, for this purpose, he set out with a large fleet of Jerusalem, notwithstanding the multitude of hands that ships, landed at Joppa, besieged Gezer, and because it be employed, and the vast preparations of money and made an obstinate defence, 8 burned it to the ground, and materials that his father had left him. To build one less slew all the Canaanites that were in it, but that not long magnificent, had been inglorious to Jeroboam; and to after he began to rebuild it ; and when his daughter was build one any ways adequate, was more than he could espoused to Solomon, gave him this, and some other hope to see finished in his days. The people were places he had taken along with it, as part of her portion ; grown weary of such public expensive works. The tax for it is a mistaken notion, that princes' daughters had had been heavy and burdensome to them. * « Thy father no portion in those days. made our yoke grievous,' was the complaint they
Among the Jews, indeed, the custom was for the men brought against Rehoboam. a Upon this the whole to give the dower, or to make some present to the parevoit was founded. And therefore, in the present state rents, for the favour of having their daughter in marriage. of Jeroboam’s affairs, a new temple was, of all projects, But this custom prevailed only among the inferior sort : the most unpopular, and the likeliest to create a total ladies of the first distinction were, in all nations, wont defection ; since it was running directly into his rival's to bring their husbands fortunes proportionate to their error, and, in effect, declaring, that* his little finger quality : for Saul, we read, declared that the man who should be found heavier than Solomon's loins had ever should slay Goliah, should not only have his daughter been.
in marriage, but together with her, plenty of riches and In the mean time his subjects deserted apace; and, for other valuable emoluments. Antiochus the great prowant of a place of religious worship to resort to, were mised to settle upon his, the kingdoms of Judea and returning to Jerusalem, and to their allegiance to the Samaria, as a dower to Ptolemy king of Egypt; and to house of David at once. Something therefore was
name no more, Agamemnon, in times of an elder date, necessary to be done, in order to remedy this growing though not so great affluence, offered no less than evil; and, because Jeroboam readily foresaw, that, to seven good towns with his, without any reserved rent, support himself in his usurpation, he might possibly want the assistance of the Egyptians, the best policy that at Josh. x. 33. Ibid. xvi. 5. ' Ibid. xxi. 20, 21. $ 1 Kings ix. 16. present occurred to his thoughts, was, to do a courtesy
9 Iliad 9, line 141, to them, in setting up a form of worship much like theirs, 6 The speech' which Josephus makes for Jeroboam, upon this and, at the same time, to gratify his own subjects in the occasion, is to this purpose :-" I need not tell you, my country
men, that God is everywhere, and not confined to any certain choice of such places of worship as had been famous in place, but wherever we are, he hears our prayers and accepts
our worship, in one place as well as another; and therefore I am Judg, xvii. ' Gen. xxviii. 17. 3 1 Kings xij. 4. *Ibid. ver. 10. not at all for your going up to Jerusalem at this time, to a peo
a In 1 Kings xii, 11, Rehoboam tells the people that his father ple that hate you. It is a long tedious journey, and all this had chastised them with whips, but he would chastise them with only for the sake of religion. He who built that temple was but scorpions. In order to understand what is meant by scorpions a man, as every one here is, and the golden calves that I have here, we must observe that the Jews sometimes, in inflicting the provided for you, the one in Bethel, and the other in Dan, are punishment of whipping for notorious offences, tied sharp bones, consecrated, as well as the temple, and brought so much nearer pieces of lead, or thorns to the end of the thongs, which from the to you, on purpose for the convenience of your worship, where pain and torture they occasioned were termed scorpions.—Bur- you may pay your duty to God, in such a manner as best pleases der's Oriental Literature.--Ep.
you," &c.- Jewish Antiquities, b. 8. c. 3
A. M. 3001. A. C. 1003; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4421. A. C. 990. I KINGS viii. TO THE END OF 2 CHRON. or other deduction from her husband. So that Pharaoh, Taanites, of whom Semendis, the father of Shishak, was did no more than conform to the practice of other great the first king. These kept their court at Zoan, an princes, in endowing his daughter with the places he had ancient town not far from the borders of Canaan, and taken from the Philistines, in all probability, for that therefore very convenient for the reception of any revery purpose.a
fugees that should come from thence. For as it was the How he came to swerve so soon from this alliance, interest of the former kings of Egypt to keep up a good as to give protection and countenance to his son-in-law's understanding with the house of David ; so now it beavowed enemies, need be no wonder at all to him who came equally the interest of the present race to make considers by what various springs kingdoms are govern- use of all instruments to embarrass them, lest, by joining ed; how the interest of nations shifts about, according with the deposed family, that might, at any time, occato the different situation of their affairs, and of how sion another revolution in Egypt. And this, by the by, little weight and validity all leagues and treaties are, suggests the reason whereof the Scripture is silent, why when once national interest comes to be thrown into the Shishak invaded the kingdom of Judah with a vast army, counterba lance.
but never pretended to annoy Israel ; namely, because But this is not all. The Pharaoh who received Je- he thought it advisable to disable Rehoboam from asroboam in his exile, in all probability, was not the king sisting the deposed family in Egypt, but to encourage whose daughter Solomon bad married, but a prince of Jeroboam, who being an usurper himself, was questionanother line, and of different views. The woman whom less a friend and ally to those princes that were in the Solomon married, was one of the dynasty of the Diospo- like circumstances. lites, whose ancestors had lived at Thebes ; but in the year Who the queen of Sheba was, and in what climate the that Solomon finished the temple, 'there happened a country from whence she came to visit Solomon lay, are revolution in Egypt, wherein this dynasty, or race of points wherein the learned are not so well agreed : but kings, lost the throne, and was succeeded by that of the whether her name was Nicaule, Candace, Marqueda, or
Balkis, for different authors give her these several nanies, Bedford's Scripture Chronology, b. 6. c. 2.
it matters not much, if we can but find out what this a It does not, from all this, follow, that ladies of the first dis- Sheba was, whereof she is said to have been queen. tinction were, in that age and in all nations, wont to bring their Josephus, and, from his authority, many more are of husbands fortunes in proportion to their quality, or that such was opinion, that Sheba was the ancient name of Meroe, an the general practice even of great prioces. Saul's declaration island, or rather peninsula in Egypt, before Cambyses, shows that he meant to give his daughter, in reward for the most important service, which could be rendered to the state ; but he in compliment to his sister, (other historians call her his kept not his promise. Afterwards he gave a younger daughter mother,) gave it her name. He tells us likewise, that she to David, but it was for a price, even for the slaughter of 200 was queen both of Egypt and Ethiopia ; c and the Ethioof his enemies. It was of the utmost importance to Antiochus and Agamemnon to conciliate, at any price, Ptolemy and Achilles; and therefore they offered great dowers with their I know not on what authority this is said, but it seems to be daughters to purchase the friendship of these formidable enemies; a mistake. There can be no doubt but that it was Shishak, who but this was not the case with respect to Pharaoh and Solomon. afterwards invaded Judah, that gave shelter to Jeroboam when Pharaoh's giving up Gezer, therefore, to Solomon, as a dower with obliged to flee from the vengeance of Solomon; but if Shishak his daughter, is a proof that David and Solomon were two of the was the Chephrenes of Herodotus, which is by much the most greatest monarchs of their age; that he thought himself honoured probable opinion, neither he nor his immediate predecessor was by the alliance; and that the sacred historical account of Solo- either the first or the last of any dynasty of Egyptian kings, mon's glory is not exaggerated. Among the Jews, and gen- Solomon had indeed married either his sister, or, which is more erally throughout the east, marriage was considered as a probable, his aunt; but, as Bishop Patrick judiciously observes, sort of purchase, which the man made of the woman he desired * kingdoms never marry;" and therefore there was nothing unto marry; and therefore in contracting marriages, as the wife natural or uncommon in his conduct on this occasion.—Bp. Gleig. brought a portion to the husband, so the husband was obliged to See also Hales' Analysis v. 4. p. 446, second edition,-ED. give her or her parents money or presents in lieu of this portion. c The Ethiopians, who held that this queen of Sheba was of This was the case between Hamor, the father of Shechem and the their country, tell us, that she returned big with child of a boy sons of Jacob, with relation to Dinah, (Gen. xxxiv. 12.) and which she had by Solomon; that when this child was of age to Jacob having no money offered his uncle Laban seven years' learn, she sent him to Solomon, who brought him up as his own service, which must have been equivalent to a large sum, (Gen. son; that in his education, he took care to provide the ablest xxix. 18,) Saul did not give his daughter Michal to David, masters for him, and then sent him back to his mother, whom till after he had received an hundred foreskins of the Philistines he succeeded in the kingdom; that the kings of Ethiopia were (1 Sam. xviii. 25.) Hosea bought his wife at the price of fifteen descended from Solomon by this young prince, whom they call pieces of silver, and a measure and a half of barley, (Hos. iii. 2.) Meilic, or Menilehec; and that of his family there were four and The same custom also obtained among the Greeks and other twenty emperors, down to Basilides, who reigned about the ancient nations, (Potter's Antiq. vol. 2. p. 279.) and it is to this middle of the seventeenth age. (See Ludolph's History of day the practice in several eastern countries, particularly among Ethiopia.) [Mr Bruce confirms this report of Ludolph's, bringing the Druses, Turks, and Christians, who inhabit the country of sufficient proofs that the Abyssinians believe their present Hauran, and also among the modern Scenite Arabs, or those royal family to be lineal descendants of Solomon and the queen who dwell in tents. (See Burkhardt's Travels in Syria, De La of Sheba. The tradition of the country certainly accounts Roque Vogage dans la Palestine, and Burder's Oriental Customs.) better than any other hypothesis that could be easily framed, for Young girls, Mr Buckingham informs us, are given in marriage that mixture of Judaism with Christianity which characterizes for certain sums of money, varying from 500 to a 1000 piastres, the religion of Abyssinia; and our author justly observes, that among the better order of inhabitants, according to their connex- the trade carried on by the Israelites with the Cushites and ions or beauty; though among the labouring classes it descends shepherds on the coast of Africa, would naturally " ereate a deas low as 100 or even 50. This sum being paid by the bride- sire in the queen of Azab, the sovereign of that country, to groom to the bride's father adds to his wealth, and makes giris, herself, and see the application of the immense treasures that particularly when handsome as profitable to their parents, as boys had been exported from her country for a series of years, and the are by the wages they earn by their labour.-Buckingham's prince who so magnificently employed them.” The Abyssinians
, Traveis among the Arab T'ribes. Bp. Gleig, Horne's Introduc- he says, “ call this queen Maqueda;” but the Arabians, who tion.-ED.
contest with them the honour of having had this voman for
A. M. 3001. A. C. 1003; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4421. A. C. 990. 1 KINGS viii. TO THE END OF 2 CHRON. pians indeed have a tradition, that upon her return, she Lord,' that is, concerning his knowledge of the Supreme had a son by Solomon, whose posterity reigned there Being, and the proper manner of worshipping him, that inany years, and, to this very day, they have preserved excited her to take so long a journey; and therefore, a continual list of their names and successors.
our Saviour says, that as she came so far to hear his There are these exceptions -however to be made to wisdom (his wisdom concerning what ? Concerning the the opinion of the Jewish historian, namely, that whereas nature and worship of Almighty God, she would, at the he cites Herodotus, as speaking of his queen Nicaule, day of judgment, ' rise up against that generation' which Herodotus makes mention of none but only Niconis, refused to listen to him. queen of Egypt; nor does he say one syllable of her Now, if this was the end of this queen's visit to Solopretended journey to Jerusalem. Whereas he says of mon, who can say, but that she left her country to good this Nicaule, that she was queen of Egypt and Ethiopia purpose, since it was to find wisdom, and to get unboth ; the sacred history is plain, that in the time of derstanding, the merchandise of which is better than the Solomon there reigned in Egypt that Pharaoh, whose merchandise of silver, and the gains thereof than fine daughter he married, and in his son Rehoboam's time, gold ; ? the price which is above rubies, 8 and all that Shishak. Whereas he tells us, that the ancient name of can be desired is not to be compared to it?' But even Meroe, before the time of Cambyses, was Sheba ; for upon the supposition, that her errand was to acquire this he seems to want authority, since 'Diodorus, and knowledge of an inferior kind, or even to make trial of other historians, represent this city as built new frone Solomon's sagacity, by proposing some enigmatical the ground, and not repaired by Cambyses.
questions to him; yet, who knows not, that it was the The more probable opinion therefore is, that this queen practice in those days for persons of the first rank and of Sheba came from a country so named, which lay not in figure in life to exercise their wits in this manner ? Ethiopia nor Africa, but in the southern part of Arabia 9 Josephus, from some writers of the Phænician hisFelix ; because it is generally allowed, that the Sabæans tory tells us, that Solomon used frequently to send to lived in Arabia, and that their country was usually called his friend Hiram problems and riddles, upon the forby the Orientalists the kingdom of the south, in allusion to feiture of a great sum of money, if he could not expound which, our Saviour styles this princess 2 the queen of them; and that one Abdemonus, a Tyrian, not only the south;' because their country borders upon the unriddled Solomon's difficulties but sent back some new southern ocean, beyond which the ancients knew no propositions of his own, which, if Solomon could not farther land ; and therefore our Saviour, according to resolve, he was to incur the like forfeiture. Now the the common mode of speaking, says of this princess, Scripture remarks of Solomon, that his wisdom that she came from the utmost parts of the earth;'excelled the wisdom of the east country,' and by the because, in this country, a women were known to govern east country some do understand the seat of the ancient as well as men; because the common produce of it was Arabians, who in the days of Pythagoras, were so gold, silver, spices, and precious stones, the very pre- renowned for their wisdoin, that that philosopher sents which this princess made Solomon; and, if any thought it worth his while to go and reside among them popular traditions may be credited, because the Ara- for some time. They were great masters of wit and bians talk of their queen Balkis, who went to visit ingenuity; and valued themselves upon their sagaciousSolomon, and show travellers the place of her nativity ness and dexterity, both in propounding and solving to this very day.
problems ; and therefore no wonder that this queen of Now if this princess came from Arabia, there is reason Sheba, who, as Josephuş informs us, was a woman of to believe, that she was originally descended from exquisite understanding herself, should fall in with the Abraham, by his wife Keturah, one of whose sons * begat humour of the times, and carry with her some problems Sheba, who was the first planter of this country; and of her Arabian sages, on purpose to make a trial of consequently that she might have some knowledge of Solomon's parts : nor can we imagine, but that, in comrevealed religion, by tradition at least, from her pious plaisance to so royal a visiter, as well as regard to his ancestors. To this purpose the Scripture seems to in- own reputation, Solomon would ke care to answer her timate, that the design of her visit to Solomon was, not questions, and, as the Scripture expresses it, satisfy so much to gratify her curiosity, as to inform her under-12 • all her desire whatsoever she asked.' standing in matters relating to piety, and divine worship. Without knowing the custom of the princes of the It was Solomon's fame, ' .concerning the name of the east, their pomp, and sumptuousness of living, one might B. i. et Luc. Ampel, de Cambyse.
9 Mat. xii, 42.
be tempted to wonder, what possible use Solomon might *Calmet's Commentary on 1 Kings x. 1. and his Dictionary; make of this milliad of wives and concubines that he had : under the word Sheba. * Gen, xxv, 1, 3. 1 Kings x. 1. but as he was between forty and fifty years old before their sovereign, tell us, that her name was Balkis, the daughter he ran into this excess, we cannot but think, that he kept of Hadhad, son of Scharhabil, the twentieth king of Jemen, or this multitude of women more for state than any other Arabia Felix, and that she reigned in the city of Mareb, the service. 13 Darius Codomannus was wont to carry along capital of the province of Sheba. Their histories are full of fabulous stories concerning her journey to Solomon's court, and with him in his camp, no less than three hundred and her marriage with him, but more particularly concerning the fifty concubines in time of war ; nor was his queen at all bird hudhud, in English a lupwing, which Solomon made use of offended at it, because these women used to reverence to send into Arabia upon occasion, and to bring him despatches from thence.-Calmet's Dictionary, under the word Nicaule.
a It is generally supposed, that these words of Claudian relate 6 Pro, iii, 13. 7 Job xxviii. 18. 8 Pro, viii. ]). to these people: this sex rules over the Medes and the effeminate 9 Jewish Antiq. b. 8. c. 2.
1 Kings iv. 30. Sabæans, and a great part of Barbary is subject to the arms of
Porphyr. apud Cyril. b 10. contra Julian. queens."
12 i Kings x, 13.
13 Athen, b. 13. c. ).
A. M. 3001. A. C. 1003; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4421. A. C. 990. I KINGS viii. TO THE END OF 2 CHRON. and adore her as if she had been a goddess. F. Le no clearing of himself, no indignation, no fear, no veheCompte, in his history of China, tells us, that the em- ment desire, no zeal, no revenge, which the apostle has peror there has a vast number of wives chosen out of the made the proper characteristics of a true repentance. prime beauties of the country, many of which he never The promise, however, which God makes to David conso much as saw in his whole life ; and therefore, it is cerning his son Solomon, may incline us to think favournot improbable, that Solomon, as he found his riches ably of his salvation : 4• I will be his father, and he shall increase, might enlarge his expenses, and endeavour to be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him surpass all the princes of his time in this, as well as all with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children other kinds of pomp and magnificence.
of men, but my mercy shall not depart away from him.' A man of Solomon's great wisdom, one would think, And therefore we may presume, that towards the conclushould have converted those women that were about him sion of his life he grew sensible of his transgressions, to the true religion rather than have suffered himself to though the sacred writer takes no notice of it, on purpose be perverted by them to a false one. The Scripture to leave a blot on his memory, and a frightful example of tells us, indeed, that he went after Ashtaroth the god. human weakness to all posterity; that the temples which dess of the Zidonians and a Milcom the abomination of he had built to heathen idols, he pulled down and demothe Ammonites, and b Chemosh the abomination of lished, though they were afterwards raised again upon the Moab;' but surely he could never be so far infatuated, same places, by other impious princes; and that, after as to prefer those idols before the God of Israel. These his fall, he wrote his book of Ecclesiastes as a monuwomen, no doubt, as they had got an ascendant over ment of his repentance, and acknowledgment of his him, o might abate his zeal against idolatry, and prevail own apostasy, and a warning and admonition to all with him for a public toleration of their religion : they others, that, however they may think of ?6 doing whatmight obtain money of him for the making of their idols, ever their eyes desired, of keeping nothing from them, the support of their priests, and expense of their sacri- and of withholding their hearts from no joy; yet in the fices; nay, and perhaps might sometimes persuade him, event, they would find, what his experience had taught in compliance, to go with them to their worship, or to him so late, that all' was vanity and vexation of spirit; partake of their lewd and riotous feasts ; but that they that there was no profit in any kind of wickedness under should ever be able to alter his notions concerning the the sun, but 8 • that to fear God, and keep his commandtrue God, or prevail with him to believe, that the images ments, was the whole duty of man.' they worshipped were informed with any kind of divini- It is making a wrong judgment of things, to think, ty, is a thing incredible.
that the customs of ancient times, and of different counIn the course of this prevarication, however, he con- tries, should agree with those of our own age and climate. tinued so long, that it is now become a famous question, We, indeed, when we have any thing to declare or Whether he be in a state of salvation or no ? Those relate, do it, for the most part, in express words : but the that maintain the negative, are apt to suggest, that people of the east, especially those who took upon then though the Scripture gives us a particular account of his the character of prophets, were fond of discovering their fall, yet it takes no notice of his recovery ; that without minds in o signs and emblematical actions ; because they the grace of God he could not repent, and yet his actions were such as justly deserved a forfeiture of that grace ; * 2 Sam. vii, 14, 15. 5 Patrick's Commentary. that had he repented, he would have pulled down the 6 Calmet's Dissertation on the Salvation of King Solomon. idolatrous temples which he had erected, whereas we find
* Eccles. ii, 10, 11. & Ibid. xii, 13. them standing many years after him ; and therefore they prophet; but, in after ages, instances of this kind became more
c This is the first symbolical action that we meet with in any conclude, that as he did not sorrow after a godly sort,' frequent. Thus Jeremiah made himself bonds and yokes, and for his impieties, because in his whole behaviour to the put them upon his neck,' (Jer. xxvii. 2.) to signify the near very last, they can discern no carefulness wrought in him, approaching captivity of Jerusalem. Isaiah, to denote the capti
vity of Egypt and Ethiopia, walked naked, that is, without his
upper garments on, “and barefoot for three years, in the streets,' ' 1 Kings xi. 5, 7. * Poole's Annotations. $2 Cor. vii. 11.
(Is. xx. 2, 3.) Ezekiel, to make the people sensible that they
were to be carried away into a strange land, was ordered to a This god is the same with Moloch, which, both in Hebrew make a breach in the wall of his house, and through that, to reand Æthiopic, signifies, a king; but then there are various sen- move his household goods, in the daytime, and in their sight,' timents concerning the relation which this God had to the other (Ezek. xii. 3, 4.) T'he false prophet Zedekiah made himself a pagan deities. Some believe, that Moloch was Saturn, others pair of iron horns, and said to Ahab, . With these shalt thou push Mercury, others Venus, and others agaiu Mars or Mithra. But the Syrians,” (1 Kings xxji. 11.) And the like practice conF. Calmet, in his dissertation before his commentary upon tinued under the New Testament likewise ; for Agabus having Leviticus, has made it more than probable, that this god was the bound his hands and feet with St Paul's girdle, told the coinsun, who is called "the king of heaven,' as the moon may be said pany, that, so should the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man unto to be the queen thereof
, for its make and manner of worship.See whom it belonged,' (Acts xxi. 11.) Samuel having exhorted vol. ii. p. 460, in the notes.
the people to return to the Lord with all their hearts, and to put 6 Chemosh, or Chamos, comes from a root, which, in Arabic, away the strange gods from among them, said, 'Gather all Israel siguifies to make haste; and from hence some have imagined, to Mizpah, and I will pray for you unto the Lord. And they that he is the same with the sun, whose motion is supposed to gathered together to Mizpah, and drew water, and poured it out be so hasty and rapid ; though some, from the Hebrew root, before the Lord, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have which signifies, contrectatus, or handled, will have him the same sinned against the Lord.” (1 Sam. vii. 5, 6.) The sacred histo, with the Roman Priapus, who is called Pater contrectationum rian does not explain in words the meaning of this drawing of nocturnarum ;' while others from the near resemblance of the water and pouring it out, nor was there any occasiot for his Hebrew Chamos with the word Comos, have rather thought it doing so; the action of itself expressing with sufficient cleares to be Bacchus, the god of drunkenness : but in either acceptation that a deluge of tears was due for their offences. But it is not in it may be supposed to represent either Noah or Lot.—Jurieu's Israel alone that information was given
by action, or that when History of Doctrines and Worship, part 4.
words were employed, action was added, to fix their meaning,
A. M. 3001. A. C. 1003 ; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 4421, A. C. 990. 1 KINGS viii. TO THE END OF 2 CHRON. looked upon such représentations more lively and affect- such a sensible impression upon his mind, that he caning than any that proceeded from the mouth only not but perceive himself actuated by a divine spirit ; and, could be.
consequently, cannot but be assured of the evidence of When the prophet was sent to anoint Jehu to be king his own revelation. This evidence the prophet that was of Israel, the question which the rest of the captains put sent to Bethel had; for as he was able, by the power that to him, 'Wherefore came this mad fellow to thee?' was given him, to work miracles, he could not but be sensufficiently indicates their scorn and contempt of bim : sible of his divine mission, and that the particular injuncand, in like manner, Ahijah might have addressed him- tion, of his not eating or drinking in the town of Bethel,' self to a man of Jeroboam's haughty spirit to small pur- was as niuch the will of God as any other part of his pose, bad he not, by some previous action, drawn his commission. observation, and made him attentive to the message Now, the design of God, in this prohibition, was, to he was going to deliver. Now, if any such sym- express his abhorrence of that idolatrous place ; and bolical act was necessary at this time, the tearing of therefore the other pretended revelation of the bold prohis garment was more proper than any, because, in the phet who lived therein, was justly to be suspected, not case of Saul, Samuel had applied it to denote the alien- only because it was repugnant to God's main design, but ation of his kingdom : 2 • The Lord hath rent the king- because it came from a person who had given no great dom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a testimony of his sincerity in choosing to live in a place neighbour of thine, that is better than thou :’and if rend- notoriously infected with idolatry, and yet making no ing the garment was no insignificant symbol upon this public remonstrances against it. The consideration of occasion, the newer the garment was, the more it would this one circumstance should have made the young prodeclare, that what the prophet did was by a divine com- phet diffident of what the other told him, at least till he wand, and upon mature deliberation.
had shown him some divine testimony to convince him; This may, in some measure, suffice to rescue Ahijah for it argued a great deal of levity, if not infidelity of from the imputation of madness, in tearing his garment his own revelation, to listen to that of another man, in to pieces. And to come now, in the last place, to the contradiction to what he had abundant reason to believe case of the other prophet who came from Judah to de- was true. nounce judgments against the altar of Bethel, and was The short of the matter is :- The prophet from Judah slain in his return, for disobeying the divine injunction, had sufficient evidence of the truth of his own revelation; this we may think was a sinall offence, that hardly had sufficient cause to suspect some corrupt ends in the deserved so severe a fate ; but then we should do well prophet that came to recall him; and had sufficient reato consider, that whenever God, in an extraordinary son to expect an interposition of the same power that manner discovers his will to a prophet, he always makes gave him the injunction to repeal it. And therefore his
crime was an easy credulity, or complying with an offer 2 Kings ix. 11. * 1 Sam. xv. 28. Stillingfleet's Orig. Sacræ. merely to gratify a petulant appetite, that he knew was and to impress it on the memory. Herodotus informs us (b. iii. repugnant to a divine command ; and the lesson we are c. 46.) that the Samians, in their distress, having arrived at to learn from God's severity in this instance is :- Not to Sparta, and obtained an audience of the magistrates, made a long suffer our faith to be perverted by any suggestions that speech in the language of suppliants; to which they received for
are made against a revelation that is of uncontested that “the beginning of their discourse was already forgotten, and the conclusion of it not understood.” At a second
divine authority, but * if an angel from heaven,' as the interview the Samian orators simply produced an empty leathern Apostle puts the case, should preach any other gospel, bag, saying, that it contained no bread; to which the Spartans replied, that they observed the bag and determined to assist them. Again, we are told by Clemens Alexandrinus, as quoted by
• Gal. i. 8, 9, Bishop Warburton, that “Identhura, a king of the Scythians, as 6 The learned are divided in their sentiments concerning this Pherecydes Syrus relates the story, when ready to oppose Darius, prophet at Bethel. Some will needs have him to have been a who had passed the Ister, sent to the Persian a symbol instead false próphet, highly in esteem with king Jeroboam, because he of letters, namely, a mouse, a frog, a bird, a dart, and a plough," prophesied to him soft things, and such as would humour him in or, as it is otherwise reported, five darts, without the plough. his wickedness. To this purpose they tell us, that going to visit This symbol was understood by Gobryas, one of the Persian the king one day, and finding him in a deep concern upon chiefs, to signify that the army of Darius should never recross account of the menaces and reproaches which the man of God the Ister, unless like birds they could fly into the air, like mice from Judah had denounced against him, he undertook to perburrow in the earth, or like frogs take refuge in marshes. (See suade him, that that prophet was an impostor, and to elude the Herodotus, b. iv. c. 13.) As the symbol is mentioned by Čle force of the miracle he had wrought, by telling him, that there mens, I should think its meaning was, that the Scythians would was nothing extraordinary in his altar's falling down, considering dispute every inch of ground, and at last leave the country a that it was new built, not thoroughly settled, loaded with sacribarren desert to the Persians, rather than submit to their yoke. fices, and heated with fire. And as for the matter of his arm, But whatever be the precise meaning of this particular symbol, that was occasioned only by his having overwrought himself in it is obvious, that in those ages all important messages were at pulling the sacrifices along, and lifting them up upon the altar, least accompanied by significant actions. They still are so which might make his hand numb for a while, but, upon a little among all savage nations; and Bishop Warburton has clearly rest, it came to itself again; and so, with plausible distinctions, traced the practice from its origin in necessity. Where lan- and loose insinuations, shuffled the miracle, and made the guages are rude and confined, speakers are obliged to call in the king more obdurate in wickedness than ever. Others think aid of significant actions to make themselves understood; and as more favourably of the old prophet, namely, that he was a true every impression made through the eye takes a faster hold of the prophet of God, though some say a wicked one, not unlike the mind than impressions made through the medium of the other famous Balaam, who sacrificed every thing to his profit. Whilst senses, orators have in all ages, and in every country, given others say, he was a weak one, who thought he might innocently force to their speeches, by what was originally necessary to make employ an officious lie to bring the prophet of Judah back, who scanty and equivocal languages understood. -See Divine Lega- was under a prohibition indeed, but such a one, as in his opinion, tion, b. iv, sect. 4; and b. vi. sect. 5. with the note G. at the related only to the house of Jeroboam, and such others as were of end of that book.—Bishop Gleig.–Ed.
an idolatrous religion.—Josephus's Jewish Antiquities, b. 8. c. 3.