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and the house of Jehovah, and put it on the north side of the altar. And king Ahaz commanded Urijah, the priest, saying; Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meat offering, and the king's burnt sacrifice, and his meat offering; with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice; and the brazen altar shall be for me to inquire by. Thus did Urijah, the priest, according to all that Ahaz commanded. And king Ahaz eut off the borders of the bases, and removed the laver from off them; and took down the sea from off the brazen oxen that were under it, and put it upon a pavement of stones. And the covert for the Sabbath, that they had built in the house, and the king's entry without, turned he from the house of Jehovah for the king of Assyria.*
Tiglath-pileser, however, although he came unto him, did not strengthen him, but rather distressed him; for Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of Jehovah, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria; but he helped him not.t
And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against Jehovah: this is that king Ahaz. For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him; and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel. And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of Jehovah; and he made him altars in every corner of Jeru
• 2 Kings, xvi. 7-18. 2 Chron. xxviii. 16.
+ 2 Chron. xxviii. 20, 21.
salem. And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incenze unto other gods, and provoked to anger Jehovah, the God of his fathers.
After reigning sixteen years, Abaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of Jerusalem; but brought him not into the sepulchres of the kings of Israel it and he was succeeded by his son,
HEZEKI A U.
This good prince, whose reign, amidst so much sin A.C.
and wickedness, is as rivers of water in a dry place, 726.
and as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land, ascended the throne at the age of 25, and his mother was Abi, the daughter of Zechariah; and he did that which was right in the sight of Jehovah, according to all that David his father did.ll
He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made; for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it; and he called it Nehushtan. He trusted in Jehovah, the God of Israel ; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. For he clave to Jehovab, and departed not from following him; but kept his commandments which Jehovah commanded Moses. And Jehovah was with him, and he pros
* 2 Chron. xxviii. 22. 25. + See a curious account in Burder how the Israelites, Egyptians, &c. marked their sense of the characters and conduct of their kings, by the various modes and places in which they interred them; thus endeavouring to operate upon the minds of their successors. O.C. 448. 1 2 Chron. xxviii. 27 2 Kings, xvi. 20.
Isaiah, xxxii. 2.
pered whithersoever he went forth; and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not. He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.t
He also opened the doors of the house of Jehovah, and repaired them. And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street, and said unto them; Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify yourselves, and sanctify the house of Jehovah, the God of your fathers; and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place: for our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the of Jehovah, our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of Jehovah, and turned their backs. Also, they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps; and have not burned incense, nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place, unto the God of Israel. Wherefore the wrath of Jehovah was upon Judah and Jerusalem; and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes. For lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword; and our sons, and our daughters, and our wives are in captivity for this. Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with Jehovah, the God of Israel, that bis fierce wrath may turn away from us. My sons, be not now negligent, for Jehovah hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him; and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.
The Levites having sanctified themselves, proceeded to cleanse the house of Jehovah, and the altar of burnt offerings with all the vessels thereof, and the shewbread table, with all the vessels thereof; and having prepared and sanctified all
* See 2 Kings, xvi. 7.
the vessels which king Ahaz, in his reign, had cast away in bis transgression, and placed them before Jehovah, Hezekiah rose early and gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of Jehovah, and offered the burnt offerings; and arranged the Levites and priests according to the commandment of David, and of Gad, his seer, and of Nathan, the prophet. And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. And when they had made an end of offering, the king and all that were present with him, bowed themselves and worshipped. Moreover, Hezekiah, the king, and the princes, commanded the Levites to sing praise unto Jehovah, with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer.
And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped. Then Hezekiah answered and said, Now ye have consecrated yourselves unto Jehovah, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of Jehovah. And the congregation brought in sacrifices and thank offerings; and as many as were of a free heart, burnt offerings. And the number of the burnt offerings, which the congregation brought, was threescore and ten bullocks, an hundred rams, and two hundred lambs; all these were for a burnt offering to Jehovah. And the consecrated things were six hundred oxen, and three thousand sheep; but the priests were too few, so that they could not slay all the burnt offerings : wherefore, their brethren, the Levites, did help them till the work was ended, and until the other priests had sanctified themselves; for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests. And also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings, and the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service for the house of Jehovah was set in order. And
Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people, for the thing was done suddenly.*
Not satisfied with restoring the worship of the true God amongst his own subjects only, Hezekiah invited all Israel, as well as Judab, with Ephraim and Manasseh, to come to the house of Jehovah, at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto Jehovah, God of Israel. So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto Jehovah, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem; for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written, So the postst went with the letters from the king, and his princes, throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying; Yechildren of Israel, turn again unto Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. And be ye not like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against Jehovah, the God of their fathers; who, therefore, gave them up to desolation, as ye see. Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto Jehovah, and enter into bis sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever, and serve Jehovah, your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you. For if ye turn again unto Jehovah, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land; for Jehovah, your God, is gracions and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him. So the posts passed from city to city,
2 Chron. xxix. 12-36. “What amazing power and influence has God lodged with kings! They can sway a whole empire nearly as they please; and when they declare themselves in behalf of religion, they have the people uniformly on their side.” A. CLARKE.
+ Or couriers.