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same promises and threatenings were held out to the divided nation and its separate kings. Jeroboam, when chosen to govern the Ten Tribes, was promised a long succession of princes in his family, if he remained faithful to the religious institutions of Moses; and there is no doubt that, had he trusted in this promise, and governed as a faithful Israelite, he might have been the founder of a new dynasty, and the kingdom though divided, would have been equally prosperous. But the kings of Israel, instead of trusting in these promises, sought to widen the breach between the Tribes, by separating from the national worship of Jerusalem, and by so doing, they deprived themselves of the blessings attached to that worship exclusively. In exact proportion to the extent of this separation, and the excesses of their idolatry, was the severity of their punishment; while a succession of prophets was raised up, the guardians of religion, and the witnesses of the Divine Will, who were ready to withstand the most despotic of their monarchs ; to warn the wicked, and assist the counsels and strengthen the arms of the righteous. These prophets may be considered as standing in the place of the ancient High Priests; they proclaimed the Will of God; they might be consulted on all occasions; and they denounced the judgments about to fall upon either nation. Thus the government remained in every important respect the same, and the vicissitudes which attended the two kingdoms were the most

striking lesson which could have been given to themselves, and through them to the world, of the sovereign power and watchful Providence of their Heavenly King. It was in fact, a progressive revelation, suited to the early state of the heathen world, and admirably adapted to meet the wants of a people like the Israelites.





I. Kings xii. ; II. Chronicles x.

B. C.

On the death of Solomon, the Tribes as975. sembled at Shechem to make Rehoboam, his son, king. Previous to acknowledging him for their sovereign, the nation demanded a pledge that the excessive burdens of the last reign should be removed, and the customary impost, which appears to have been increased by Solomon, lessened. “Thy father made our yoke grievous," said the oppressed people; “ Now, therefore, make thou the grievous service of thy father


and his heavy yoke, which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.”

Rehoboam demanded three days to consider his reply. He first wisely consulted with the old men who had stood before his father Solomon, and they advised him to return a conciliatory

“ If thou wilt be a servant to this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.” He then turned to the young men his companions, and asked their advice. “ What counsel give ye that we may answer this people." And the young men that were grown up

with him replied: "thus shalt thou say unto them; my little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins. And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.”*

Rehoboam listened to the evil counsel of the young men, and when the people came to him the third day, he returned the haughty and impolitic reply they had dictated. It proved the signal of revolt. A general murmur arose, and the people indignantly answered the king by throwing off their allegiance to his family. “ What portion,” they exclaimed, “ have we in David ? Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse.” They shouted the war cry of the nation; "To your tents, O Israel ;" “Now see to thine own house, David;" and, headed by Jeroboam, who had returned out of Egypt on the death of Solomon, the Israelites of all the Tribes, excepting Judah and Benjamin, departed to their tents, and refused to receive Rehoboam as their king.

* Scorpions, i.e. thongs set with sharp iron points or nails, called by the Romans Horribilia. They were applied as a means of torturing only by those who had no relentings of heart, especially by cruel masters in the punishment of their slaves. The application of such an instrument in punishing was not sanctioned by the laws of Moses. Jahn's Biblical Antiquities, under Corporeal Punishment.

Thus was fulfilled the word of the LORD, spoken to Solomon on his turning to idolatry. The kingdom was rent, though not entirely taken away from the family of David ; its territory was lessened; but enough still remained to form a powerful monarchy, if governed by kings obedient to the law.

Jeroboam was chosen king by the Ten Tribes to the North and East, leaving to Rehoboam only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, frequently called One Tribe, from Jerusalem being situated partly in both; also the Levites, who forsook their cities and their right to the tenth of the produce of the soil, and, true to their faith, quitted the idolatrous kingdom of Jeroboam, and settled in Judah. The Priestly families were already established in the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, their cities being originally assigned them within an easy distance from the Temple. The noble fidelity and disinterested zeal of the Levites prove them not to have


degenerated from their ancestors; and we shall better appreciate its value if we consider that Jeroboam would gladly have granted them all or more than their ancient privileges, if they would have remained in his kingdom, and conformed to his worship of the Golden Calves. Besides the tribes. of Judah and Benjamin, Rehoboam had the countries of Edom and Philistia, (though these districts were often in revolt), making in all about a fourth part of the vast dominions of Solomon.

The two kingdoms are benceforth called the kingdom of Judah, and the kingdom of Israel; their history becomes distinct, and to render each clear, and at the same time keep up

the connection between the two, we shall divide it into three periods or sections, as follows:

The First Section takes up 91 years, and ends with the death of Ahaziah, king of Judah, and Jehoram, king of Israel, both slain on the same day by Jehu.

The Second Section occupies 163 years, and ends with the captivity of the Ten Tribes, under Hosea, and the destruction of the kingdom of Israel.

The Third Section, occupying 134 years, continues the history of the kingdom of Judah to the captivity at Babylon, under Zedekiah. (See Table.)

In each of these Sections the history of the kings of Judah will first be given ; then that of the kings of Israel. By this arrangement we

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