Page:An Exposition of the Old and New Testament (1828) vol 2.djvu/567

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This second book of the Kings (which the Septuagint, numbering from Samuel, calls the fourth) is a continuation of the former book; and, some think, might better have been made to begin with the 51st verse of the foregoing chapter, where the reign of Ahaziah begins. The former book had an illustrious beginning, in the glories of the kingdom of Israel, when it was entire; this has a melancholy conclusion, in the desolations of the kingdoms of Israel first, and then of Judah, after they had been long broken into two; for a kingdom, divided against itself, cometh to destruction. But as Elijah's mighty works were very much the glory of the former book, toward the latter end of it; so were Elisha's the glory of this, toward the beginning of it. These prophets outshone their princes; and therefore, as far as they go, the history shall be accounted for in them. Here is,

I. Elijah fetching fire from heaven, and ascending in fire to heaven, ch. 1, 2.

II. Elisha working many miracles, both for prince and people, Israelites and foreigners, ch. 3••7,

III. Hazael and Jehu anointed, the former for the correction of Israel, the latter for the destruction of the house of Ahab, and the worship of Baal, ch. 8••10.

IV. The reigns of several of the kings, both of Judah and Israel, ch. ll••16.

V. The captivity of the ten tribes, ch. 17.

VI. The good and glorious reign of Hezekiah, ch. 18••20.

VII. Manasseh's wicked reign, and Josiah's good one, ch. 21••23.

VIII. The destruction of Jerusalem by the king of Babylon, ch. 24, 25. This history, in the several passages of it, confirms that observation of Solomon, That righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is the reproach of any people.



We here find Ahaziah, the genuine son and successor of Ahab, on the throne of Israel. His reign continued not two years; he died by a fall in his own house; which, after the mention of the revolt of Moab, (v. 1.) we have here an account of. I. The message, which, on that occasion, he sent to the god of Ekron, v. 2. II. The message he received from the God of Israel, v. 3..8. III. The destruction of the messengers he sent to seize the prophet, once and again, v. 9..12. IV. His compassion to, and compliance with, the third messenger, upon his submission, and the delivery of the message to the king himself, v. 13..16. V. The death of Ahaziah, v. 17, 18. In the story we may observe how great the prophet looks, and how little the prince.

1. THEN Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab. 2. And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick. and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover of this disease. 3. But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them. Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? 4. Now, therefore, thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. And Elijah departed. 5. And when the messengers turned back unto him, he said unto them. Why are ye now turned back? 6. And they said unto him, There came a man up to meet us, and said unto us. Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Is it not