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النشر الإلكتروني

Asa, reproved by Hanani, putteth him in prison.
thine hand.

1 In the six and thirtieth year
of the reign of Asa Baasha king
of Israel came up against Judah,
and built Ramah, to the intent
that he might let none go out or
come in to Asa king of Judah.
2 Then Asa brought out silver
and gold out of the treasures of
the house of the LORD and of
the king's house, and sent to
Ben-hadad king of Syria, that
dwelt at Damascus, saying,

3 There is a league between me and thee, as there was between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent thee silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.

4 And Ben-hadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abel-maim, and all the store cities of Naphtali.

5 And it came to pass, when Baasha heard it, that he left off building of Ramah, and let his work cease.

6 Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha was building; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah.

8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand.

9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

10 Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. And Asa oppressed some of the people the same time.

11 And, behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.

12 And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians. 13 And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.

14 And they buried him in his own sepulchres, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries' art: and they made a very great burning for him. LECTURE 690.

7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of

Religion the best security for good government.

How well had Asa prospered hitherto, by trusting in the Lord! How great was his folly, and how sad its consequences, when he

hired the Syrians to be his allies against Israel! It is true that he succeeded in the special end he aimed at. But then he strengthened a hostile nation; and he put his trust in the help of the heathen, to the dishonour of almighty God. And therefore was "Hanani the seer" sent to warn him, that but for this misconduct, he might have been made master of the Syrians. The seer goes on to remind him of the signal victory which God had given him over the Ethiopians, and the Lubims. And he adds this remarkable declaration: "the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him." May we not hope then, that even at that period, some were left in several parts of the world, who retained, through tradition from their fathers, the knowledge and the love of God? If there were, we may certainly argue from these words, that God would shew Himself strong in their behalf. Nor can we doubt, that according to this declaration, the eyes of the Lord still run to and fro throughout the world, beholding both the evil and the good; see Prov. 15. 3; marking those in every nation under heaven, who strive to do his will, as well as those who wilfully disobey it.

In conclusion Hanani declared to Asa, "therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars." And Asa, in consequence of this faithful warning, was so greatly incensed, as to put the seer "in a prison house." He also " oppressed some of the people the same time." How great are the temptations besetting those who like Asa have any such unlimited authority, as places their fellow creatures at their mercy! How apt are they to become, as he did in his latter end, wilful, and arrogant, and oppressive! How thankful may we be, that our magistrates are responsible, in their different degrees and offices, for the lawful discharge of their duty, in the punishment of evil doers! How thankful ought they to be themselves, that they are by these means less likely to fall into the sin of punishing the righteous as the wicked, for the gratification of private animosity! But is it enough to be responsible to an earthly tribunal, and limited by human laws? Will the sense of being liable to present inconvenience, disgrace, or loss, secure men from the risk of doing wrong, either in their public or their private capacity? Certainly not. Else the Israelites and their kings, who knew that God would reward and punish them in this life, would not have so often and so greatly erred. Else Asa with wars and diseases, inflicted on him, or about to be inflicted, would not have evil intreated the Lord's prophet, nor have sought to the physicians instead of to the Lord. No, if we would have upright magistrates, they must be men that care for eternity. If we would have security for the due administration of just and equal laws, we must be sure that those who make and who administer them, hold themselves amenable, for their conduct in so doing, to a judgment which will be for ever.

Jehoshaphat reigneth prosperously.

11 Also some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents, and tribute silver; and the Arabians brought him flocks, seven thousand and seven hundred rams, and seven thousand and seven hundred he goats.

1 AndJehoshaphat his son reign- dah, so that they made no war ed in his stead, and strengthen- against Jehoshaphat. ed himself against Israel. 2 And he placed forces in all the fenced cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken. 3 And the LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; 4 But sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel.

5 Therefore the LORD stablished the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance.

6 And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah. 7 Also in the third year of his reign he sent to his princes, even to Ben-hail, and to Obadiah, and to Zechariah, and to Nethaneel, and to Michaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah.

8 And with them he sent Levites, even Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, and Tob-adonijah, Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, priests.

9 And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people. 10 And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Ju

12 And Jehoshaphat waxed great exceedingly; and he built in Judah castles, and cities of store.

13 And he had much business in the cities of Judah: and the men of war, mighty men of valour, were in Jerusalem.

14 And these are the numbers of them according to the house of their fathers: Of Judah, the captains of thousands; Adnah the chief, and with him mighty men of valour three hundred thousand.

15 And next to him was Jehohanan the captain, and with him two hundred and fourscore thousand.

16 And next him was Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself unto the LORD; and with him two hundred thousand mighty men of valour.

17 And of Benjamin; Eliada a mighty man of valour, and with him armed men with bow and shield two hundred thousand.

18 And next him was Jehozabad, and with him an hundred and fourscore thousand ready prepared for the war.

19 These waited on the king, beside those whom the king put in the fenced cities throughout all Judah.


Of an elevated devotion.

What a noble disposition is this which is here recorded of Jehoshaphat, "his heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord!" How different from the case of those, whose hearts are elated in their own ways! The expression seems to mean, that he served God with an elevated devotion; not grudgingly or of necessity, but freely and thankfully. He was not ashamed of serving God; but he gloried in it. He felt it his highest honour to honour his Maker. And he did all he could to honour God, by sending his princes, the first men in his kingdom, as well as priests and Levites, to go about throughout all the cities of Judah, and teach the people God's law. An unheard of business for such great men as these to be employed in. A matter which many think can be done as well by the lowest of the people; and for the due execution of which they scarcely judge common learning to be requisite; much less do they think high rank to be desirable. But Jehoshaphat had other thoughts than these, of instructing his people in the will of the Most High. Conceiving this to be one of the chief duties of a king, he would entrust the oversight thereof to none lower than his princes. And we see the result in this, that he had peace and prosperity; he had riches and honour in abundance; he was beloved at home, and respected abroad.

Let Jehoshaphat's prosperity incline us to walk, as far as our circumstances admit, in the steps of his example. Let us pray and strive, that our hearts may be "lifted up in the ways of the Lord." Whatsoever be our station and duties in life, let us obey God, under a firm conviction, that it is an honourable privilege, to serve One so great, so good, so glorious, as the Lord of heaven and earth. Let us not only refuse evil, but abhor it. Let us be above defiling ourselves with the pollutions of this wicked world. Let us honour our bodies as the temple of the Holy Ghost, and not deign to listen to any vile passion, which would prompt us to defile them with sin. Let us rejoice to use our voices in praising the goodness of Him, whose mercy endureth for ever. And let us count it all unworthy of the lips that are privileged to celebrate his praise, that they should ever utter a word of falsehood or of flattery, of condescension to the folly of the worldly minded, or of indifference to the interests of eternal truth. Let our very thoughts run always in this channel, that these are our highest dignities, to have been adopted as children by our heavenly Father, to have been reconciled unto Him by his Son, to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit, growing more and more fit for our heavenly inheritance. And thinking thus, let us act, and speak, let us live, and die, in that true Christian nobleness of spirit, which whether we are high or low in this world's reckoning, will prepare us for wearing a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Jehoshaphat with Ahab at Ramoth-Gilead.

1 Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab.

2 And after certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. And Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him, and persuaded him to go up with him to Ramoth-gilead. 3 And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramoth-gilead? And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the


4 And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day.

5 Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the king's hand.

6 But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him?

7 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he never prophesied good unto me, but always evil: the same is Micaiah the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.

8 And the king of Israel called for one of his officers, and said, Fetch quickly Micaiah the son of Imla.

9 And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah sat either of them on his throne, clothed in their robes, and they sat in a void place at the entering in of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.

10 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made him horns of iron, and said, Thus saith the LORD, With these thou shalt push Syria until they be consumed.

11 And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramoth-gilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.

12 And the messenger that went to call Micaiah spake to him, saying, Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one assent; let thy word therefore, I pray thee, be like one of their's, and speak thou good.

13 And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak.

14 And when he was come to the king, the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And he said, Go ye up, and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand.

15 And the king said to him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou say nothing but the truth to me in the name of the LORD?

16 Then he said, I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd and the LORD said,

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