« PreviousContinue »
that in the days of Uzziah there was a terrible earthquake (foretold by Amos two years before,) a plague of locusts, and a great drought, mixed with dreadful flashes of fire.
PART OF THE PROPHECY OF ISAIAH.
From Chap. i.
THE vision of Isaiah the son of Amos, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
Hear, O heavens; and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken: I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.
Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers, children that are corrupt rs! They have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL unto anger, they are gone away backward.
Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more; the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds and bruises, and putrifying sores; they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire;
; your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate as overthrown by strangers.
And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.
Except the LORD of hosts had left unto ús a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
Hear the word of the LORD ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our GoD, ye people of Gomorrah: to what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats.
When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me: I am weary to bear them.
When ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear your hands are full of blood.
Wash you, make you clean: put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well: seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow though they be red as crimson, they shall be as wool.
If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full
of judgment: righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water: thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves; every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.
Therefore saith the LORD, the LORD of hosts, the mighty one of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adver saries, and avenge me of mine enemies.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
Isaiah began to prophesy in the reign of Uzziah. The foregoing extract from his writings shews, that the people of Judah, as well as those of Israel, acted with great ingratitude to the LORD. How affectionate is this address to them, like that of a tender father, endeavouring to reclaim a disobedient child. It is suited not only to the people of Judah, but to all other nations, who are guilty of the same crimes.
THE REIGN OF ZECHARIAH AND OF SHALLUM, KINGS OF ISRAEL.
From 1 Kings, Chap. xv.
In the thirty and eighth year of Uzziah king of Ju. dah, did Zechariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel in Samaria.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his fathers had done: he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin.
And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and smote him before the people, and slew him, after he had reigned six months, and reigned in his stead.
And the rest of the acts of Zechariah, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
This was the word of the LORD, which he spake unto Jehu, saying, Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation. And so it came to pass.
Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the nine and thirtieth year of Uzziah king of Judah, and he reigned a full month in Samaria.
For Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and smote Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
It is supposed by learned authors, and is noted in the margins of our Bibles, that there was an interregnum (or space of time when the nation was in a state of anarchy and confusion without any sovereign) for eleven years (others say for twenty-two years): perhaps there were disputes about the succession, and conspiracies formed by different factions, till at length Zechariah the son of Jeroboam was established; by which the LORD's promise to Jehu, that his sons should sit on the throne to the fourth generation, was fulfilled.
We find, however, that Zechariah was a very impious prince, and his reign was short: for GOD permitted him to be slain by one of his subjects, according to the prediction of the prophet Amos, which he spake many years before, as follows: I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword*.
Shallum was a wicked usurper, as well as an idolater, #Amos vii. 9.
and GoD's judgment was in a very short time sent upon him; for he was suffered to fall by the hand of Menahem, Zechariah's general, who was then besieging Tirzah. On hearing what Shallum had done, Menahem marched to Samaria, defeated and slew him, under pretence of avenging the death of his sovereign; but, as it proved, to gratify his own ambitious views.
THE HISTORY OF THE PROPHET JONAH.
From Chap. i. &c.
Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa: and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish, from the presence of the LORD.
But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them: but Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.
So the ship-master came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, cail upon thy Gon, if so be that God will think upon us that we perish not.
And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots; that we may know for whose cause this