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Captivity of Israel

II. KINGS.

by Shalmaneser.

B. C. 721.

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A. M. 3281. 5 ( Then the king of Assyria || under the hand of Pharaoh king of A. M. 3283.
B. C. 723.

came up throughout all the land, and Egypt, and had feared other gods.
went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. 8 And walked in the statutes of the heathen
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6 d In the ninth year of Hoshea the whom the Lord cast out from before the chil

king of Assyria took Samaria, and dren of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which • carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed they had made. them in Halah and in Habor by the river of 9 And the children of Israel did secretly those Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

things that were not right against the LORD 7 For so it was, that the children of Israel had their God, and they built them high places sinned against the Lord their God, which had in all their cities, h from the tower of the watchbrought them up out of the land of Egypt, from men to the fenced city.

C

Chap. xviii. 9. d Chap. xviii. 10; Hos. xiii. 16, foretold.

e Lev. xxvi. 32, 33, Deut. xxviii. 36, 64 ; xxix. 27.

11 Chron. r. 26. - Lev. xviii. 3 ; Deut. xviii. 9; Chapter

xvi. 3. 5 Chap. xviii. 8.

after he had reigned there fifteen years. It was in their impolitic management; the strength and growthe beginning of Hezekiah's reign that he invaded ing greatness of the Assyrian monarchy: these Egypt, and having taken Boccharis the king thereof things are overlooked, and only the first cause is prisoner, with great cruelty he burned him alive, mentioned. It was the Lord that removed Israel and then seized on his kingdom."-Dodd.

out of his sight: whoever were the instruments, he Verses 5, 6. Then the king of Assyria came up was the author of this calamity. The destruction throughout all the land- And made himself master was from the Almighty, and the Assyrian was but of it, treating the Israelites as traitors rather than as the rod of his anger, Isa. x. 5. It was the Lord that fair enemies, and punishing them with the sword of rejected the seed of Israel, otherwise their enemies justice. And went up to Samaria, and besieged it could not have seized upon them. Who gare Jacob three yearsDuring which time it held out, but to the spoil, and Israel to the robbers ? Did not the doubtless endured a great deal of misery, though Lord? Isa. xlii. 24. We lose the benefit of national this be not particularly recorded. At length the judgments if we do not mark the hand of God in royal city was taken, and the king made a prisoner, them, and the fulfilling of the Scriptures. It must shut up, and bound. This was in the ninth year of be well observed, however, that their way and their the reign of Hoshea, at which time Israel was carried doing procured all this to themselves, and it was away captive into Assyria-There, we have reason their own wickedness that did correct them. This to think, after some time, they were so mingled with the sacred historian shows here at large, that it might the nations, that they were lost, and the name of Is- appear God did them no wrong, and that others might rael was no more in remembrance. They that for-hear and fear. The children of Israel had sinned got God were themselves forgotten, and they that against the Lord, and had feared other gods—This studied to be like the nations were buried among they had done a long time: for, from the beginning them; and they that would not serve God in their of Jeroboam's setting up the golden calves, to the own land, were made to serve their enemies in a carrying of Israel away captive, were two hundred strange land. Thus ended Israel as a nation, and and sixty-three years, to say nothing of their former the prophecy of Hoshea was sulfilled: they became various and multiplied idolatries. Loammi, not a people, and Lo-ruhamah, unpitied. Verses 8, 9. And walked in the statutes of the Now Canaan spewed them out. When we read of || heathen-According to their laws and customs in their entry into Canaan under Hoshea the son of the worship of their Baals, and other of their sins. Nun, who would have thought that such would be And of the kings of Israel, which statutes they had their exit under Hoshea the son of Elah? Thus made-Had ordained concerning the worship of the Rome's glory in Augustus sunk many ages after incalves, and against their going up to Jerusalem to Augustulus; yet we find St. James writing to the worship. And the children of Israel did secretly, twelve tribes scattered abroad, (James i. 1,) and &c.—This belongs, either, 1st, To their gross idolaPaul speaks of the twelve tribes, instantly serving tries, and other abominable practices, which they God day and night, Acts xxvi. 7: so that, though were ashamed to own before others; or, 2d, To the we never read of the return of those that were car- worship of the calves, and so the words are otherried captive, nor have any ground to believe that wise rendered, They covered things that were not they still remain a distinct body in some remote cor- | right toward the Lord: they covered their idolaner of the world, yet a remnant of them did escape, || trous worship of the alves with fair pretences of and will remain, till all Israel be sared.

necessity, the two kingdoms being now divided, and Verse 7. For so it was, &c.— Though the destruc- || at enmity; and of their honest intention of serving tion of the kingdom of the ten tribes is but briefly | the true God, and retaining the substance of the Jewrelated in the preceding verses, it is largely com- ish religion. From the tower of the watchmen to mented upon by the historian in those that follow; the fenced city-In all parts and places, both in cities and the reasons of it assigned, which are not taken and in the country; yea, in the most uninhabited from the second causes, the weakness of Israel and | parts, where few or none dwelt besides the watch

The reason why Israel was

CHAPTER XVII.

sent captive into Assyria.

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the 1

A N. 3283. 10 i And they set them up 3 images | 14 Notwithstanding, they would not A. M. 3283. B. C. 721.

and groves ' in every high hill, and hear, but 9 hardened their necks, like under every green tree:

to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe 11 And there they burnt incense in all the in the LORD their God. high places, as did the heathen whom the 15 And they rejected his statutes, ?and his LORD carried away before them; and wrought covenant that he made with their fathers, and wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger : his testimonies which he testified against

12 For they served idols, TM whereof the LORD them; and they followed Svanity, and bebad said unto them, » Ye shall not do this came vain, and went after the heathen that thing.

were round about them, concerning whom the 13 Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and Lord had charged them, that they should not against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all do like them. the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil 16 And they left all the commandments of ways, and keep my commandments, and my the LORD their God, and * made them molten statutes, according to all the law which I com- images, even two calves, Y and made a grove, manded your fathers, and which I sent to you and worshipped all the host of heaven, ? and by my servants the prophets.

served Baal.

il Kings xiv. 22; Isa. lvii. 5.—Heb. statues.- _k Exod. 4 Deut. xxxi. 27; Prov. xxix. 1. Deuteronomy xxix. 25. mv. 13, Deut. xvi. 21; Mic. v. 14. - Deut. xii. 2; Chap. Deut. xxxii. 21; 1 Kings xvi. 13; 1 Cor. viii. 4. - Psa. cxv. 8; 1 - Exod. xx. 3; Lev. xxvi. 1; Deut. v. 7.- n Deut. Rom. i. 21. Deut. xii. 30.—Exod. xxxii. 8; 1 Kings xii. ir. 19.—* Heb. by the hand of all.-1 Sam. ix. 9. -P Jer., 28.- -y | Kings xiv. 15, 23; xv. 13; xvi. 33.1 Kings xvi. Ivull; 19.5; xxxv. 15.

31 ; xxii. 53 ; Chap. xi. 18.

men, who were left there in towers, to preserve the days of the last king of Judah, when that tribe was cattle and fruits of the earth, or to give notice of the carried captive, they had Jeremiah and Ezekiel. All approach of enemies.

these had made it their care to show both the kings Verse 11. They burned incense, as did the hea- and people their sins, and warn them of the fatal then-Namely, in high places; and that not only to consequences of them; and to exhort, beseech, and the Lord, which, though an irregularity, was prac- ' urge them to turn from them, to the worship and tised and tolerated sometimes, even in the kingdom service of the living and true God. of Judah, but also to the idols of the heathen. Whom Verse 14. Notwithstanding, they would not ir, the Lord carried away before them-For the same but hardened their necks-Refused to submit their sins; by whose example they ought to have taken necks to the yoke of God's precepts: a metaphor warning. To provoke the Lord to anger—That is, taken from stubborn oxen that will not bow to the in despite and contempt of God, and his authority yoke. Like to the neck of their fathers—In the and command, as the next verse shows.

wilderness; that did not believe in the Lord their Verse 13. Yet the Lord testified against Israel- GodThis was the original and primary cause of Against their false worship, and all their impieties. all their sins and sufferings, their unbelief; this By all the prophets, and by all the seersTo whom formerly prevented their fathers from entering Cahe declared his mind by extraordinary revelations naan, and now turned them out of it: they did not and visions, and by whom he published it, bearing truly believe in God's power, and love, and faithfulwitness from heaven to their doctrine, by eminent ness; did not receive his truths, though attested by and glorious miracles. Abarbinel, in his commenta- i signs and wonders innumerable ; did not credit his ry on these books, hath noticed one or more pro- threatenings, nor rely on his promises. The testiphets in every king's reign, both in Israel and Ju- mony of the prophets, therefore, was without effect, cah, from the time of Saul to Zedekiah, in whose with respect to the nation in general, and their entime Jerusalem was laid desolate. The ten tribes deavours to reclaim them were exerted in vain. And had lately had among them two most singularly God was compelled, humanly speaking, in vindicaeminent for their zeal, courage, fidelity, and the tion of his own infinite perfections, the injured rights Fronders which they wrought, in the name of God, of his moral government, and the cause of truth and in coafirmation of their divine mission and doctrine, righteousness, to execute the frequently-denounced namely, Elijah and Elisha: the latter of whom had vengeance, and send wrath upon them to the utterbeen instrumental in rescuing them from their enemies sundry tiines, when all human means had fail- Verses 15–17. They followed vanity-Idols; so ed and their case appeared perfectly hopeless, and called, because of their unprofitableness, impotency, who had been mercifully continued to them, a faith- and nothingness, and to show the folly and madness fol witness for God, and a burning and shining light, of idolaters. And became rain-By the long worfor about sixty years. And in the days of this very ship of idols they were made like them, vain, sottish, king. when Israel was carried away captive, they and senseless creatures. And they left all the combad Hoshea, Amos, Isaiah, and Micah. And in the mandments of the Lord–They grew worse and The Lord rejects all

most.

II. KINGS.

the seed of Israel.

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17 « And they caused their sons and 21 For he rent Israel from the A. M. 3283.

their daughters to pass through the house of David; and they made fire, and bused divination and enchantments, Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam and o sold themselves to do evil in the sight drave Israel from following the Lord, and of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. made them sin a great sin.

18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with 22 For the children of Israel walked in all the Israel, and removed them out of his sight : there sins of Jeroboam which he did ; they departed was none left d but the tribe of Judah only. not from them;

19 Also o Judah kept not the commandments 23 Until the LORD removed Israel out of his of the LORD their God, but walked in the sta- sight, i as he had said by all his servants the tutes of Israel which they made.

prophets. So was Israel carried away out of 20 And the Lord rejected all the seed of Is- their own land to Assyria unto this day. rael, and afflicted them, and delivered them 24 And the king of Assyria brought men into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them m from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from out of his sight.

Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sephar

n

a Lev. xviii. 21; Chap. xvi. 3; Ezek. xxiii. 37. Deut. xviii. 10.

- 1 Kings xxi. 20.—di Kings xi. 13, 32. Le Jer. iii. 8. "Chap. xiii. 3; xv. 29.

6 1 Kings xi. 11, 31.-
xiv. 16.

Ak Verse 6.-
Chap. xviii. 24, Ivah.

- 1 Kings xii. 20, 28. —il Kings
- Ezra iv. 2, 10. m Verse 30.

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worse; from a partial disobedience to some of God's Israelites, which was not only evil in itself, but mislaws, they fell by degrees to a total apostacy from chievous to their neighbours, who by their examples all of them. And worshipped all the host of heaven were instructed in their wicked arts, and provoked -The sun, moon, and stars

, as Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, / to an imitation of them: see Hos. iv. 15; Matt. xviii. Venus, &c.; against which Moses had particularly 7. Those that bring sin into a country or family cautioned them, Deut. xiv. 19. They caused their bring a plague into it, and will have to answer for sons and daughters to pass through the fire-Thus all the mischief that follows. offering or consecrating them to their idols: see on Verse 20. The Lord rejected all the seed of Ischap. xvi. 3. And used divination and enchant- | rael-All the kingdom, or tribes of Israel, first one ments—Which were the abominable sins of the hea- || part of them, and now the rest: but this extends not then. And sold themselves to do evil in the sight of to every individual person of these tribes, for many the LordWholly addicted themselves to sin, as of them removed into the kingdom of Judah, and slaves are addicted to the service of those to whom were associated with them: see 2 Chron. xi. 16. they are sold; and, by their obstinately persisting in Verse 21. They made Jeroboam king—Which sin, so hardened their own hearts, that at length it action is here ascribed to the people, because they was become morally impossible for them to recover would not tarry till God, by his providence, had inthemselves, as one that has sold himself has put his vested Jeroboam with the kingdom which he had liberty beyond recall.

promised him, but rashly and rebelliously rose up Verse 18. Therefore the Lord was very angry against the house of David, to which they were unwith Israel-For he is a jealous God, and highly der such great obligations, and set him upon the resents the giving that honour to any created or throne without God's leave or advice. Jeroboam imaginary being, which is due to himself only. And drave, &c.—He not only dissuaded, but kept them removed them out of his sight-A very strong ex- by force from God's worship at Jerusalem, the only pression, to signify, not only his casting them out place appointed for it. And made them sin a great of Canaan, then the only place of his solemn wor-sin-So the worship of the calves is called, in oppoship, and gracious presence, or out of his church, sition to that idle conceit of the Israelites, who but his utter rejection and total removal of this apos-esteemed it a small sin, especially when they were tate people from his care and providence. There forced to it by severe penalties; which yet he shows was none left but Judah onlyAnd the greatest part did not excuse it from being a sin, and a great sin of the tribe of Benjamin, with those of the tribes of too. Simeon and Levi, who adhered to them, and were Verses 22, 23. They departed not from themincorporated with them, and therefore are fitly de- But willingly and resolutely followed the wicked nominated from them.

examples and commands of their kings, though conVerse 19. Also Judah kept not, fc., but walked intrary to God's express commands. Until the Lord the statutes of Israel-Followed the idolatrous de- || removed IsraelThey continued to the last, obstivices of the ten tribes, which they did most notori- | nate and incorrigible under all the instructions and ously in the reign of Ahaz. And though his son corrections which God sent to them; and therefore Hezekiah made a noble reformation, it lasted no were justly given up by God to this dreadful captilonger than his time, so extremely corrupted was vity, which all this foregoing discourse was designed the nation. Judah's idolatry and wickedness are

to prove. here remembered as an aggravation of the sin of the Verse 24. The king of Assyria brought men from

The king of Assyria peoples

CHAPTER XVII.

Samaria with strangers.

B. C. 678.

A M. 1226. vaim, and placed them in the cities of 27 Then the king of Assyria com- A. M. 3326. B. C. 678.

Samaria instead of the children of manded, saying, Carry thither one of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt the priests whom ye brought from thence; and in the cities thereof.

let them go and dwell there, and let him teach 23 And so it was at the beginning of their them the manner of the God of the land. dwelling there, that they feared not the LORD: 28 Then one of the priests whom they had therefore the LORD sent lions among them || carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in which slew some of them.

Beth-el, and taught them how they should fear 26 Wherefore they spake to the king of As- the LORD. syria, saying, The nations which thou hast 29 Howbeit every nation made gods of their removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, | own, and put them in the houses of the high know not the manner of the God of the land : places which the Samaritans had made, every therefore he hath sent lions among them, and nation in their cities wherein they dwelt. behold, they slay them, because they know not 30 And the men of • Babylon made Succoththe manner of the God of the land.

benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal,

. Verse | 24.

Babylon-Which then was subject to the Assyrian being now in the country in which he governed, and monarch, but a few years after revolted from him, || therefore concerned to be upon good terms with and set up another king, as appears from both sacred him. Herein they shamed the Israelites, who were and profane histories. And from Cuthah, &c.— not so ready to hear the voice of God's judgments Several places then in his dominion. It is probable | as they were, and who had not served the God of that it was not Shalmaneser, but Esar-haddon, his son that land, though he was the God of their fathers, and successor, that did this, (Ezra iv. 2,) because it and their great benefactor, and though they were was a work of some time; and as his father had well instructed in the manner of his worship. In projected, and perhaps even begun it, so he exe- || short, these heathen beg to be taught that which cated and finished it, whence it is ascribed to him Israelites hated to be taught! rather than to his father. And they possessed Sa- Verse 27. Then the king of Assyria commanded, naria, &c.—That is, the whole country in which carry thither one of the priests_That is, one of the the ten tribes had dwelt.

chief priests, with others under his inspection and Verse 25. And so it was that they feared not the direction, as may be gathered from the following Lord–They did not acknowledge nor worship the words, where it is said of the same person or pertrue God in any sort. Therefore the Lord sent lions | sons, Let them go, &c., and then, Let him teach, among them-For their gross neglect and contempt \ &c.—Nor is it probable that one priest could suffice of God, which was contrary to the principles and for the instruction of the inhabitants of so many and practices of the heathen, who used to worship the distant districts. gods of the nations where they lived, and gave that Verse 28. Then one of the priests whom they had honour to their false gods which here they denied carried away came, &c.—A prophet would have to the true. Hereby also God asserted his own sove- || done them more good, especially as it appears this reignty over that land, and made them to understand was but one of the priests of the calves, who therethat neither the Israelites were cast out, nor they || fore chose to dwell at Beth-el. And taught them brought in, by their valour or strength, but by God's || how they should fear the Lord-That is, the manprovidence, who, as he had cast the Israelites out ner of God's worship as it had been pract sed in Isfor their neglect of God's service, so both could and rael: for as to any thing further, whether respecting would, in his due time, turn them out also, if they their duty to God or man, thouon he might possibly were guilty of the same sins.

teach them to know more than they knew before, Verse 26. Wherefore they spake to the king of and to do better than they did, it is not likely he Assyria, &c.—They wrote, or sent messengers to should teach them to know the truth, or to do well, hiin, to acquaint him with this grievance, setting | unless he had taught his own people better. forth it is likely, the loss which their infant colony Verse 29. Howbeit, every nation made gods of had sustained by the lions, and the continual fear their own—Or, worshipped, as the Hebrew word they were in of them; and that they looked upon it here used sometimes means; of which see Exod. as a judgment sent upon them for not worshipping | xxxii. 35. That is, they worshipped the gods which the God of the land, which they could not, because they had served in the places from whence they they knew not how. The God of Israel was the || came. And put them in the high places which the God of the whole earth, but they ignorantly call him Samaritans--That is, which the former inhabitants the God of the land, imagining him to be like one of the city and kingdom had made. of their local deities, who were supposed to preside Verse 30. The men of Babylon made Succoth-beonly over particular countries or provinces; and noth, &c.—In this and the following verse are the apprehending themselves to be within his reach, as names of the gods or goddesses which each nation VOL. II. ( 13 )

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The idolatries of the strangers

II. KINGS.

which were brought into Israel.

A. M. 3326. and the men of Hanath made Ashi- || which the LORD commanded the A. M. 3326. B. C. 678.

B. C. 678. ma,

children of Jacob, whom he named 31 P And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tar- | Israel ; tak, and the Sepharvites y burnt their children 35 With whom the Lord had made a covein fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the nant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not gods of Sepharvaim.

fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, 32 So they feared the LORD, "and made unto nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them : themselves of the lowest of them priests of the 36 But the LORD, who brought you up out high places, which sacrificed for them in the of the land of Egypt with great power and Ya houses of the high places.

stretched-out arm, 2 him shall ye fear, and him 33 They feared the Lord, and served their shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do own gods, after the manner of the nations sacrifice. 5 whom they carried away from thence.

37 And the statutes, and the ordinances, and 34 Unto this day they do after the former the law, and the commandment which he wrote manners: they fear not the LORD, neither do for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; they after their statutes, or after their ordi- || and ye shall not fear other gods. nances, or after the law and commandment 38 And the covenant that I have made with

P

Ezra iv. 9.—Lev. xviii. 21 ; Deut. xii. 31. 1 Kings xii. 31.- Zephaniah i. 5.- _Or, who carried them away from thence.

* Gen. xxxii. 28; xxxv. 10; 1 Kings xi. 31. — Judg. vi. 10. » Exod. xx. 5. Exodus vi. 6.- Deut. x. 20.- Deut.

v. 32.

of these new-comers to Samaria and its vicinity set | Unto the true God; for as to the worship of their up. The learned are not agreed as to the significa- | own gods, they needed no instruction, and would not tion of several of these names, nor is it worth while permit a person of another religion to minister to spend time in endeavouring to determine it. The therein. reader whose curiosity leads him to wish for infor- Verse 34. Unto this day, &c.—That is, till the mation on the subject, may consult Selden, Vossius, || time when this book was written, and long after, and Jurieu. Concerning two or three of them we about three hundred years in all, till the time of may observe as follows: The first name signifies, ! Alexander the Great, when Manasseh, brother to The tabernacles of the daughters, or young women, || Jaddus the high-priest of the Jews, having married and, if it be the name of an idol, it was doubtless the the daughter of Sanballat, governor of the Samarisame with the imaginary goddess termed Venus by | tans, went over to them, and, obtaining leave of the Greeks and Romans. The Jewish rabbins tell Alexander to build a temple on mount Gerizim, us, she was worshipped under the emblem of a hen | drew over many of the Jews to him, and prevailed and chickens. There is reason to believe, that in with the Samaritans to cast away their idols, and to these succoth, or tents, young women exposed them- || worship the God of Israel only. Yet their worship selves to prostitution in honour of the Babylonish | was mixed with so much superstition, that our Lord goddess Melitta. Nergal, worshipped by the Cu- || tells them they knew not what they worshipped. thites, or Persians, was probably the fire, or the sun, They do after the former manners--As the Israelbeing derived from 73, ner, light, and 55a, galal, tó | ites, before their captivity, (verse 33,) gave these revolve. The Jewish doctors say his idol was repre- | nations an ill example, in serving the Lord and Baal sented in the shape of a cock. Adrammelech and together; so these nations both worshipped the God Anammelech were only different names for Moloch, | of Israel, and those other gods. But, adds the hisas is evident from their burning their children to torian, they feared not the LordTheir pretended these idols in the fire. See the Universal History fear of him, and serving him together with their and Calmet. Alas! how vain were these idolaters | idols, was not worthy of the name of piety, or the in their imaginations! It is justly observed by fear of the Lord: nor would God accept such a Henry, that our very ignorance concerning these mongrel religion and false worship as they offered idols teaches us the accomplishment of God's word to him. Neither do they after their statutes-God's by Jeremiah, (chap. x. 11,) that these false gods law delivered to the Israelites, and to them as their should all perish. They are all buried in oblivion, || inheritance, Psalm cxix. 111. This is alleged as while the name of the true God shall continue for an evidence that they did not fear the Lord, whatsoever!

ever they pretended, because they lived in the conVerse 32. So they feared the LordWorship-stant breach of his statutes. Which the Lord comped him externally in that way which the Israel- | manded the children of Jacob, whom he named Isites had used: having and serving gods of their || rael-A name signifying Jacob's special interest in owo besides. And made unto themselves of the God, and power with him, which was given to him, lowest of them priests, &c.—See note on 1 Kings not only for himself, but for his posterity also, whom xii. 31. Which sacrificed in the high places— || God frequently honoured with that name. And by 194

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